About a year and a half ago I was sitting in a salon chair in New Delhi. We were at Saket mall and I was in the Madonna Salon (don’t ask). The man who was about to cut my long hair was thrilled that a foreigner was in his chair and that she spoke Hindi. Unfortunately he was also a bit flirtatious–smarmy even–and extremely confident in his general person.
I showed him a picture I’d ripped out of a back issue of a Better Homes & Garden magazine to give him a concrete idea of what I wanted in a hairstyle. He proceeded to cut my hair, all the while chatting with me about life in America and correcting my Hindi pronunciation. When I saw his finished product it looked nothing like the picture I’d shown him.
He seemed to sense my displeasure. He said, “Don’t worry, ma’am. See, I have made you more beautiful. I have giving you more beautiful cut. More sexy.”
No, sir. You gave me a mullet.
Today I walked into a salon I’ve visited once since we’ve been back in the States. I sat in the swivel chair and showed the talented hairstylist exactly what I wanted, in my mother tongue. She skillfully went about copying my reference picture nearly exactly, and I was deeply happy with the final result. And she never flirted once.
Add that to the list of things I love about America.