It does not matter where you live in the world, the expectation and actualisation of beauty remains the same. Us women suffer for our beauty.
Many of my personal friends are well aware that Daughter suffers from Alopecia Areata. For those of you who do not know Alopecia Areata is a condition in which hair is lost from some or all areas of the body. For Daughter it was her scalp. At one point she rocked a great punk-ish style but for most of the time there was a lot of tears, many trips to various doctors and failed treatments. Finally I located a Chinese herb supplement which worked wonders and now nearly three years on her hair has, in my opinion, grown back quite well although she continues to take the hated herb supplement on a daily basis (I brought a year’s supply with me to Turkey). It is still quite thin and gappy but I think we should be thankful that she has her father’s genes because otherwise she would probably be bald right now.
My last trip to the hairdresser resulted in my walking out with blonde hair. Well after some tears it was brown hair with a lot of blonde highlights. Now 5 weeks later I find that I am quite used to the blonde, in fact I kind of like it. It still has its brown elements but coming into summer I like the lighter colour with my tan, and it hides my grey hair a little more than my brown hair did.
Speaking of tans I am going to a wedding tomorrow night. I have a gorgeous 1950’s inspired dress with a bolero jacket and shoes to match. Very cute. But. My legs are the colour of freshly fallen snow. They are white. Beyaz. They have not seen the sunlight for nearly a year now (seeing we arrived here in Mersin at the end of an Australian winter and went straight into a Turkish winter). I tried going into an eczame (pharmacy) to purchase fake tan. The words “fake tan” just do not compute in a country where everyone is naturally bronze. While out with Alana last weekend (who incidentally is her very own shade of beyaz as she is Irish) we tried to explain fake tan or bronzer to a lady at a beautician’s shop near Alana’s house. The woman was confused and perhaps wondered if we were a little deli (crazy). She did tell Alana that she was cok beyaz (very, very white). Nice. Don’t hold back your thoughts love. Finally I was with Daughter at Sephora and found fake tan but then decided I wanted to wear something different. Hours of grief and I, of course, change my mind at the last minute.
Back to my original story. I went for a cut today at the same hairdresser’s who blonded me. Aziz is his name. He recognised me immediately. He was probably quaking in his boots. “Crap it’s that bloody yabanci again.” He immediately settled me into his chair and got to work. He has obviously been practicing his English because he was ready for me today. “Cut yes? No colour? OK. Tamam. I do it good today.” In the meantime the ladies in the shop were busy trying to convince me to have a manicure or a pedicure (10TL) and I even had one lady try to convince me that my “beard” needed to be epilated. Thank you very much. I was very happy with the result. The best part was the price 30TL (AU$15). I arrived back home to lots of oohhs and aaahhs and then was informed that I paid too much. You know how people tell you that you have done the wrong thing and then give you that pitied look. That’s what I got today from the fam bam. “Yes you paid too much. The lady across the street would do it for 10TL”. I will just repeat that sentence – the lady across the street would do it for 10TL. Yes the lady across the street is a beautician. It is not a shop, it is her spare bedroom. Realistically 30TL is money well spent because it is in a shop – commercial premises with outgoings. Incidentally the lady across the street does a great job threading (known as ip) on my eyebrows and my lip (which is a pain that I can only liken to child birth and no I am not being overdramatic). She does Daughter’s eyebrow and lip as well but Daughter has it waxed not threaded – she can’t stand the pain but for whatever reason I don’t get an option, I am threaded. Yes I am happy to let the woman across the street do my eyebrows but seriously my hair? I am pretty sure the $15 I spend is well worth it. I am pretty sure that I am not going to go broke going to the hairdresser in Carsi every eight weeks for a wash, a head massage (thank you God) and a blow dry for $15.
I have melded into Turkish life pretty well. I am becoming the epitome of a Turkish Housewife – this afternoon I made Dolma, blog to follow – but please let me have a few little luxuries, a few of the little things that remind me of just what it is to be a lady of leisure. That head massage was the most divine head massage of my life. It went for about 15 minutes and Aziz crooned away in Turkish as he did it.
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