Thursday, July 1, 2010
South Africa: Days 20-24
So, all the crew went on a safari today, except for me and "Luke from The Magazine." We both had things to do, so we couldn't join everyone for a day of animals and fine dining. That's fine, I got my own personal safari at Pumba a couple of weeks ago, and today I had my own adventure.
Took a little walk on the wild side. Now, I know my parents read this blog, and though they're pretty hip for their age, I'm pretty sure they're not familiar with Lou Reed. But anyway, I was badly in need of a haircut, so I left the compound known as City Lodge and went for a walk.
We have been warned by our security task force that leaving the compound is not safe, but the truth is, during the daylight, it's fine out there. Remember, I was in Luanda for 12 days. I know where I should not be walking, and outside this hotel is a long, long way from Luanda. It's fine. Really.
I was not sure if there was a place to get a haircut, but I figured I'd give the strip mall a shot. Was hoping there would be a South African "Super Cuts," or maybe a South African "Sal's Barber Shop." As I've lost most of my hair, and have grown less fond of the hair I do have because it is wiry and gray and has a life of its own, I am not particular when it comes to haircuts. My normal instructions are "short" or "very short."
Well, there was no Supercuts and there was no Sal's. So, I ended up in a "salon." I was greeted by my stylist "Beyonce," who sent me back to get my hair shampooed, rinsed, conditioned, rinsed, massaged with something tingly, rinsed, and I think that was it, but there may have been one more step. It was wonderful, really. So, then when "Beyonce" came back to retrieve me, I began to notice she had some interesting...ummm...characteristics. One of which was...a deep voice.
"Beyonce" was a dude. Now, listen, I'm cool with it. "She" was pretty appalled at the state of my hair, probably since I'd hacked it up with a trimmer, trying to tighten up my sideburns and creating a big mess in the process. When I said "short," Beyonce said, in her deep voice, "Let me try something ok? If you don't like it, we can go shorter." I was not going to argue with Beyonce.
So, in the spirit of the World Cup, Beyonce gave me a modified Cristiano Ronaldo Faux Hawk. The whole thing took about 20 times longer than when I got to SuperCuts or Carmen's in Manasquan. There was some cutting. There was some trimming. There was Beyonce backing away and staring at her work for a while. There was this "fine trimming" around the ears. And then, just when I thought I was done, I was sent back to the shampoo area, for more stuff. And then, as I tried to walk to the desk to pay and leave, Beyonce told me she was not done. She said she needed to style it. To apply some "product." Again, who was I to argue. Have a look.
Anyway. Home Stretch.
Eleven days to go on this fantastic journey, though, truth be told things have slowed down considerably as more and more countries (including my own) have gone home.
The emotional roller coaster (mostly highs...with only one low... in my opinion) that I went on for the first two weeks, left me pretty wasted. So much pride, so much joy, and so much heart ache and emptiness when it was all over. I'm glad my brother and my nephew are built for it.
Three more rounds to go.