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Thursday, January 28, 2010

Getting a Haircut en Español

The other day I had a fight with the curling iron & the curling iron won. Time for a haircut.

I found a hair salon right by my house. I wasn't sure how it would pan out since I don't speak much Chinese, but I figured I'd just try out my gesturing skills & see what happened.

I went inside & asked one of the men working there: "多小钱?" Duo xiao qian? How much? He motioned toward one of the customers who was a foreigner hoping that she would be able to help us translate. She spoke Chinese as well as English, & told me it was 20 yuan for a haircut (US$2.85). Nice.

She looked Latina, so I asked her where she was from. "Mexico," she answered. "¡Que bueno!" I exclaimed. "Hablo español." We switched to Spanish & she helped me describe to the haircutter what I wanted. Then she sat chatting with me while he cut my hair. It was so nice to be able to speak Spanish again.

It turns out that María is from Sinaloa, the Mexican state just south of Arizona. She's here in Shanghai studying business administration & Chinese. I was so lucky to find her there at the hair salon. I made sure to get her phone number - it would be so nice to have a Spanish-speaking friend here.

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