Saturday, Oct 22, 2016
I had a strange experience trying to get a haircut today. Since I’ve been in Ecuador I have had four haircuts at four different places. Each time it was just a matter of me showing up, sitting down, and waiting my turn.
This afternoon I went to a place by the Supermaxi near us to give them a try. I walked in and there were two women and one man cutting hair, and one woman doing nails. I stood at the front counter for a bit and the people working there looked at me but no one said anything. Since there were customers sitting in seats waiting their turn, I took a seat and waited.
In hind sight this was a mistake. I should have stood there until someone decided to help me. Obviously the language is a barrier for me, so I’m hesitant to start asking questions, which after today’s experience, I need to get over. The bottom line is I waited a long time sitting in my chair, and every person working their looked at me when they walked by, but no one said anything to me.
The place was busy so I sat patiently waiting my turn. At the point that someone was being helped who came in after me, I asked when I was going to be able to have my hair cut? I was told that I needed an appointment. What?
This was a new one for me here in Ecuador. I had been waiting my turn for over an hour and no one in the place had said anything to me as I sat there. Obviously, they must have all thought I was there for an appointment with someone else. It didn’t even dawn on me I would need an appointment.
During the time I was sitting there watching people get their haircut, I decided that I wanted the guy to cut mine. He had cut three men’s hair while I watched, and I determined he in fact knew how to cut hair short. So far, it has been hard for me to get people to cut my hair short. They seem hesitant here to cut it short on the top. It’s weird. When they don’t get it right after I have explained it to them twice, I feel like they don’t know how to do it and make it look good, so I don’t push it.
Anyway, the guy I wanted to cut my hair still had appointments arriving, so I made an appointment with him for Monday. I wasted more than an hour just sitting there in silence. I had to ask myself why I didn’t say something sooner, and it came down to having a belief that this hair cut place was just like the other places I had been to, and you wait your turn. And second, I have a fear of coming off as a loud-mouthed gringo that is impatient and can’t wait his turn. I’ve seen those people here.
Asking questions to make sure I understand how things work is different of course. So I learned something today about what I need to do. Being polite and patient is great, but remaining in the dark isn’t.
We met Scott for a very flavorful Greek dinner tonight at El Salon. I like the food here, and the ambiance is conducive to good conversation. I enjoyed some good wine during dinner, and after my second glass I believe I was able to solve all the political problems of our country. Maybe more wine is what’s needed to make America great again. 😉