rape of the lock

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                        before                                                       after (like a bad infomercial. except reversed…)

drinking coffee before bed is never a good idea. nor is getting your haircut at a ukrainian salon….and i’ve done both today. normally, i don’t care that much about haircuts and often mock people (not to be sexist, but usually ladies) that spend so much money on their ‘do. my idea of a haircut was one that didn’t cost over $20, could be done without appointment, and usually when finished i’d say ‘eh, good enough’. sure, there have been a few semi-undesirable haircuts in my past…one which i did myself while intoxicated last winter (i was really bored, it seemed like a good idea, and i mean the scissors where right there practically begging me), but this one. this one takes the cake. or the salo to be more accurate.

it hadn’t been long since i last cut my hair (again by myself, again bored, but THIS time sober) so i was really just looking for a trim and maybe some layers. trim i can do myself (thanks internet beauty school!) but layers are a little advanced for me. i wasn’t asking for much, soooo how wrong could it get??? well, pretty wrong it turns out.

while i wish i could say it was just me being “lost in translation” over hairstyle terminology (but really, i knew all the words!), it seems to be more of a “lost in different ideas of fashionable/hairdresser’s gonna do what she wants”. i guess i should have seen this coming, i don’t think there aren’t many ukrainian haircuts i find attractive. okay some aren’t so bad, but others (*cough*mullets*cough*cough*) are just..just…not what american’s consider stylish. which makes sense, i’m not in america. duh. but i was confident that my directions and simple requests would easily be upheld and that my chances of being ukraine-ified were slim. oh ho! ho! such optimism!

within the first few minutes of the hairstylist cutting i knew i was in for a surprise of a style. it was too late to say anything, she already hacked a good deal off with the first cut. and from there she layered and feathered like she planning to make a nest. at this point i was kind of just laughing in my head…mostly out of terror. once she was all finished i of course pretended like i liked it (never upset someone with sharp objects in hand) looked in the mirror aaaaaaand wantedtodie. not really, but sort of, but yes.

you’re probably thinking, “why the hell is she blogging about her hair, it’s just hair“. and yes. i agree with you on that, it is just hair, hair that will grow back. blahblahblah. but none the less no one wants to live with a haircut they hate (however short-lived it may be). i think it’s mostly that the last part i was willing to throw to the winds of cultural integration was my hair. mesh shirts? they’ve grown on me. rhinestones? why not. but my hair was one thing i was gripping to. and now that i try to grip it, half of it’s gone (or is it half of it’s there?) and it’s so layered/feathered that it looks like i’ve either suddenly developed trichotillomania or stuck my head in the kitchen disposal. maybe both. it might not look that bad to the eye, i mean it’s not actually a mullet, but i was pretty happy with my hair length the way it was.

…god, this post is making me sound like one awesome anthropological case study about women the perception of beauty through hair…anyways, normally i’d say this doesn’t matter because i have no one to impress here anyways (#forever alone. just kidding.) but i’m leaving THIS WEEKEND to see my PARENTS! then not long after it’s SE ASIA and then AMERICA!!! WOO! so here’s to hoping that my hair fills-in/grows-out/un-ukraine-ifies itself by then. cause you know…i have so many hott men waiting for me back home, heh heh.

but back to more important things…i’m really looking forward to seeing my parents, getting to be their own personal samantha brown as we tour eastern europe. not to mention that they can buy me food (win!), we’re staying in a hotel (this means i get to take a REAL SHOWER!), they’re bringing me all sorts of miscellaneous goodies (GIRL SCOUT COOKIES!), it’ll lift my spirits a bit from the bum of a week that was, oh, and i’ve missed them. yeah, that too.

i’ll be meeting them in krakow for 4 days, then we’ll take a train to lviv (western ukraine) for a few days, travel to my village and party it up with my landlords/visit my school, then to the capital kyiv, and when they fly to vienna i’ll be at my COS (close of service) conference early april. oh, how my time left here is flying!

i’d been busy trying to go through my things the past couple of weeks, deciding what i really must take home with me and what i’ll give away. right now i think i’m at 3% take home 97% give away. but of the 3% that made the cut (mostly sentimental things), my parents said they’d help take some back home with them. it was a really strange feeling to once again open my suitcase and decide what should go in it. it brought me back to my days pre-ukraine when that same suitcase was proped open as i packed and re-packed.

and here i am, almost exactly 2 years later, which in some ways it feels like so much longer and in some ways doesn’t, preparing to pack my things and begin another strange adventure — one that i’ll face with a lot of unknowns and uncertainties just as i did this one. but this time i’ll go ahead with much more courage and confidence. oh, and probably a hat to hide my hair. ; )


the time has come


“weeks left in ukraine” paper chain countdown! seems hard to believe!

(i’ve had really nerdy literary title references lately. if you’re curious, this one comes from this. also sorry for all the caps, i think it’s the coffee. )

4 thoughts on “rape of the lock

  1. This reminds me of the very first time I got my hair cut in Ukraine… I was so worried that I drew a picture of what I wanted my hair to look like (long layers with some light side bangs) to show my English teachers and asked them to write specifically what I wanted. Little did I know that Ukrainians say “staircase” for layers haha. But the hairdresser in my town turned out to be the mother of one of my students, so she was totally understanding and actually did a great job. I just can’t believe you’ve gone 2 years without getting a haircut by a Ukrainian!

  2. Kristin, if you need an unofficial and fun tour guide, we have family who lives in the center of Lviv. Roxolana, our niece, is 24 and speaks English. She spent the summer in Naperville 2 years ago and loved it 🙂 She loves showing off her city and knows all the good spots. Let me know if you would like me to link you up with her.


  3. Love nerdy literary references – Langston Hughes was so fresh in my brain, I actually brought up “A Dream Deferred” yesterday when I was giving a presentation on the current state of the American consumer, to describe how awful it is to be young, overeducated and underemployed. They were like “that was a pretty liberal arts thing to say….” so thanks for the nerd ammo!

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