So I am sitting in the Teacher’s Office on Tuesday afternoon when my host mom walks in and asks if I have time. Before I even answer she is hurrying away expecting me to follow her (in true Taiwanese fashion…see my The Good, The Bad, and the Just Plain Weird Part 2 post coming soon). So, I run after her with nothing but my phone, confused as to what is happening and how long I will be gone. We get to her car and she tells me we are going to the salon. I’m getting nervous thinking she is going to get me a Taiwanese haircut (“I only want a little taken off the ends” “….you only want a little left at the end?! OKAY!” AHHH!!!!!!!!!!). I’m terrified and actually refuse to get a haircut here…and I thought I might be getting forced into it. But, to my pleasant surprise she was taking me to get my hair braided, which is a huge thing here. So, I walk into the salon and they plop me down into a chair…and start shampooing my dry hair. Then they squirt a little water on your head and shampoo some more. They shampoo your hair for 20 minutes before finally bringing you to a sink to wash it all out.
Then they dry your hair, put some weird product in it, and braid. The whole process takes almost an hour! But, the end result is pretty cool! But, the trip to the salon truly made me realize just how little Chinese I actually know. I really thought I was getting the hang of it until I listened to the hairdresser talk and couldn’t even pick out one word….for the entire hour…UGH! I will have to go again to practice! Anyway, I looked super Taiwanese (see below) as going to get your hair professionally braided is normal for both children and adults. In fact, a high school student tried to talk to me on the train for the first time ever…I think it was because I looked less foreign haha just kidding I don’t know why but I got to practice Chinese at least!