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dimanche 20 janvier 2013


One advantage of Loyalty programmes for travellers is that one gets an occasional free flight or a hotel room. Expert Frequent Fliers of course have ways of maximizing these benefits. There is even a very active website FLYERTALK in which the ways of accumulate these benefits are discussed in minute detail.
This is the third night that has been accorded to me at a rather nice hotel near King’s Cross station within a few months. Walking out of the hotel, towards the station, one comes across the paraphernalia of city living: mobile phone shops, take out and eat in restaurants and noodle stores, convenient stores with higher prices, to give some examples.
On this morning I went past a hair salon, peeped in, a solitary hairdresser looking after the coiffure of one, and an empty table in the back where the customary oriental lady is waiting for Nail/Pedi/Mani customers.

I decided to go in, to ask whether I could get a trim and shaping of my unruly hair.
How are you, sir, the vivacious hairdresser, greeted me, with a strong Mediterranean accent. Please sit down, when she was finished with the other client, she came over and said, what can I do for you, sir?
I would like a trim, but not shortening the length and a bit of a shape to it, I blurted. Wet or Dry? What do you recommend? Always better to cut it wet, she added with a theatrical flourish. She shampooed my hair and gave me a scalp massage, and then seated me in front of the mirror. She continued to chat in her chirpy voice. It was obvious she loved her work, her life in London. She is from Sicily, and regaled me stories of pasta of her grandmother, and pointing to her midriff. I was enjoying listening to her accent that one would hear in Godfather!
She had no time for foreigners who commented badly on the life in London or England. She was particularly harsh about the French, who come and beg her to speak in French, when she would say, we live in England, and I speak Good English, why you don't speak English? She had opened this salon eight months ago, feels that people are working so hard and long hours, that they could come and relax a bit in her salon while she looks after their hair, on their way home from work or at lunch time. This attention to beauty makes them feel better, she claims, with the expertise of a Psychologist, which in a manner she is. She keeps the salon open until 8 pm so that the hard working young executives have a place to go for a hair cut after long hours of work. In this day of inflationary prices for haircuts, her basis price is 10 pounds! And a little bit more for a wet cut. She attended to my hair efficiently, gave it a bit of a shape and attended to the beauty aspects of my face such as eyebrows, unwanted hairs etc. Viola!
I was expecting to pay 20 pounds or something close for such a holistic treatment, but she said that would be 10 pounds, that is all.
This hair cut for me was a pleasure, walked out of the place feeling good. I had made a new friend, Veronica, in London and she will see me again when I am in London!