One thing that happens when you live in a country where pretty much no one speaks your language is that idle chit chat basically goes out the window. I was never more aware of this than when getting my hair cut today.
Back home going to the hairdresser was always an ordeal for me. My anxiety would spike dramatically. I didn’t do it often – choosing instead to cut and dye my own hair (with sometimes less than desirable results let me tell you).
It wasn’t the actual hair stuff that kept me away. To this day I love having my hair washed and brushed and played with. It’s soothing. What deterred me rather was the inevitable talking that came with the experience. So much bloody talking – with people I didn’t know about nothing important . No thanks.
As I got ready to go to the hairdresser for the first time in Taiwan my heart began to race. My chest tightened and my stomach twisted. Even though the person doing the cutting is a friend of mine (we met on a language exchange that we continue to do once a week) I was still nervous. I needn’t have been though.
The time I spent in the salon was relaxing. My hair was washed, brushed, cut, dried and styled, all in relative silence. No having to explain how I was or what I was doing with my life. No having to fake interest in conversation or worry if I was being socially awkward. It was bliss.
I walked home in the warm, beautiful sunshine and thought about how much my new home actually suits me.