Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Conversations with my hairdresser

I have a Chinese tutor three times a week for an hour. I've been working on catching up my reading, so I don't feel like my vocabulary or grammar is improving much. Sometimes I worry about that, but then I remember that I started learning to read because I'm at a point where if I don't, it's going to hurt my ability to progress.

So it was reassuring last night to go out and get my hair did down the street. I've used the same guy a couple times. And while it's not quite on par with the cuts I used to get near Rodeo Drive ... 30 kuai ($4.50) for a wash, cut and blow isn't anything to sniff at.

My guy, Hui, is from Chongqing. We chatted the whole way through. When a Malaysian guy walked in, he was able to tell me he was an aboriginal dancer performing at the Expo. We debated whether or not the terracotta warriors are boring. And he told me I did a pretty smart job cutting my bangs, for an amateur. 

Hui is especially curious about my "mixed blood" boyfriend. He keeps telling me he must be very handsome because all bi-racial people are good looking. And I keep telling him, yeah, some. I'll bring him in sometime, talk to me then.

Then Hui asks me if he speaks Japanese, because he knows Taiwanese people who can. I explain no, no - his family came to Taiwan in 1949. Hui says, 'ah this is Chinese people's very special year.' And you can really see the pride in his face when he says it.

And then I say, yeah, but that's the year my man's people "pao zou" (ran away) to Taiwan. 

Hui gets a huge laugh out of this, "Oh! You're very lihai - we wouldn't dare say that to your boyfriend!"

I left with a decent haircut, and it was nice to have an hour of conversation practice that didn't really make me work that hard.

I blogged about Liu Xiaobo last week, but there's even more good news! A bunch of Party veterans spoke out against censorship and called for free speech. I could piss and moan about China all day (aaaaaall day), but there are things to really be optimistic about. Exciting stuff.

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