All I wanted was a trim. I’d cut my own hair maybe three months ago with our desk scissors, and it had since gone to Splitsville. “我想剪一點.” “I want a trim.” Clear as can be.
Did I go to one of the many empty hair salons littered around Yonghe? No. Did I drop in to the salons that look more like a living room with a mirror and a chair and a middle-aged man stretched out watching TV? No. I went into a legit salon with legit hair stylists and not one but three customers.
None of that meant I got the trim I wanted. In fact, I got almost the very thing I had pointed out to Colin and said I didn’t want. The trim was great, and then she pulled out the thinning scissors. No biggie, I thought, my hair is rather voluminous and could stand a bit of thinning. Bigger and bigger clumps of red hair slid down my cape. She’s a professional, I thought, I don’t want to question her.
I liked it well enough when I left the shop, but after sleeping on it and then trying to straighten it myself, I realized how awful it really was. So the desk scissors came back out and I gave myself a scraggly bob.
My phrasebook actually has an entry for “What have you done?” in the haircut section. Red flag.