And, less than 24 hours later, after getting over my fear of navigating a hair salon in Russian, and after a very pleasant visit with a hairdresser named Svetlana, here is what I look like now:
This may seem like a somewhat trivial update, but getting a haircut is a little bit of a milestone for me. It’s been something I’ve been meaning to do since I got here, but I had been delaying because I was worried about finding a hair salon that I liked and that was the right price, and not knowing any haircut-related vocabulary, making a fool of myself, etc. To give you some perspective, I once went two years without getting a haircut because for the last 9 months of those two years my family was living in Costa Rica and I refused to get a haircut there for fear of ending up with all of my hair chopped off. But yesterday I just decided that my procrastination had gone on long enough (and my mullet was becoming quite impressive) so starting yesterday after school I just started stopping in hair salons I passed, asking how much their haircuts cost and if I needed an appointment. Yesterday I struck out: all the hairstylists were apparently attending some kind of seminar, and the one place that did have someone available was charging like $60 for a haircut. So today I wandered down some side streets in search of less prominent (and hopefully, less expensive) hair salons, and eventually found success, in a hair salon located in the inner courtyard of a block of buildings (it was a good thing I caught sight of a sign on the street outside.) I wandered into a few such courtyards today, and it’s striking how much quieter they are than the bustling city just outside.
When returned home today, triumphant, my host mom just looked at me and shook her head. “Well at least hair grows back,” she said.