There are times when I’m reminded that living in a country other than the U.S. carries with it good and bad experiences. Yes, I know this is a rather simple and obvious statement. Sometimes the good and the bad are random experiences spread over a period of time while in other situations, they all happen on the same day. Today was one of those days.
Peter and I began teaching English at a Catholic elementary school last Thursday. The headmistress and teachers are wonderful, but English is still a second language and any new job carries with it a number of unknown and unspoken rules. Today, I began my class with a group of 5-year-olds only to be interrupted at the half-hour mark because they needed to go to recess – they’d be back in a half hour. (My schedule indicated a full hour with this class followed by a second hour with 1st graders.) Ok.
My next big project for the day was to get my hair colored. Many of you know that this is a creative outlet for me and an experience I thoroughly enjoy. I went into a salon armed with my Spanish-English dictionary. I said “tinte” and pointed to my hair. “Sí, sí.” They got me settled into a chair and dressed with all sorts of disposable, protective gear. When they came to talk about what I wanted I told them “rojo” and used charades to further explain. They said “no”. I was confused… No, you don’t think red is good? No, you can’t do it because my hair is bleached? I pointed to the pink in my hair and nodded. It’s all good. No. The answer was no. I still don’t know why the answer was no. I don’t really even know what the question was, but I got up and left. No hair color for me.
As a recent member of the Facebook world, I occasionally post comments about my day, and I shared my salon experience online. One of our housemates is a “friend” and he saw the post. When I arrived home this evening, he said that it appeared I hadn’t found anyone to color my hair. I said, “No, I’ll figure something out.”
After dinner, I washed our dishes as Ulysses (our newest housemate) did yo-yo tricks. Isi (Isiduardo) came into the kitchen and asked me if I really wanted my hair “painted”. I said that I did. He offered his girlfriend as a resource for good places in town to get my hair painted if that was what I really wanted. She’s an esthetician and may even be able to “paint” me herself.
And so, at the end of the day, the good and the bad have settled out, and the good far outweighs the bad.