Blonde is the New Black


I’d like to start by saying…I never meant to go blonde.  

I wanted to go white!

Why?  Boredom…  Change… Excitement…  Drama… 

So I’ll tell the story from the top:

I decided, probably during first hair-dye job (last January) that I wanted to make my hair white at some point.  I think someone actually commented on a photo during the dye process (the foam from the dye made it look white) and said “You actually don’t look bad with white hair…” and the wheels were spinning….Yessssss, White it is.

Little did I realize, it’s actually notttttt that easy for someone with black hair to go white via dye.  

So it is Saturday, august 24th, and I wake up hungover at 9 AM which is extremely early for me (having gone to bed at about 5).  I drag myself out of bed, shower (ambitious), get dressed and jump on the metro.  I have decided to go back to Foshan, my old town (an hour away via subway), and get my hair did there.  Why?  Mostly because I knew it would be super cheap since I am friends with the hair boys (hairdressers) who have a shop below my ex-building.  Unfortunately, when I arrive at about 10:40, the shop is closed and Kevin (my hairdresser) isn’t responding to any of my messages.

After eating, drinking some vitamin water, and sitting for about an hour outside the salon as the lady at the shop next door continuously tells me that they are on holiday, I decide to get Kevin’s phone number from his girlfriend (whose number I had forgotten that I had).  When I call, he answers, and I tell him that I’m going to kill him.  He responds that he is on his way ….he did know that I was coming..

What happens next is this:

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I drink a Pocari Sweat (sweat sweat sweat) to try to rejuvenate myself as I wait for Kevin to arrive (a different employee arrived first and opened the door).

Kevin arrives, looks at my drink and says, “No, no, no, no!”

This ensues:

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So I’m sitting there drinking a beer with Kevin at noon, and I’m telling him about how I want to dye my hair white.  He tells me that it won’t look good, but I tell him I don’t care.  Then he points out that the hair decoloring formula (Loreal brand) is all out.  I’m depressed because all of the wild options are out the window as well.  Luckily, I live in China, and anything can be obtained with a phone call…Within ten minutes, some new bleach was delivered and we were on our way!

Before photo (warning, the photos in this blog post are not flattering…regardless of hair color):

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This is Kevin over my should.  As you can see by my facial expression, I had complete confidence in him.

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The first bleaching begins and I’m super excited about the fashionable ear covers I get to wear.

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And then orange happened.  Orange is the new black though…right?

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After bleaching 2….still orange:

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No one told me how long it takes.  I started to get restless.  PS check out my fashion Saran Wrap hat:

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After bleaching 3, I’m still a bit concerned:

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I at this moment realized how black my eyebrows were going to look…

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I decided to watch Miley’s music video.  This was taking a realllllly long time…and she is awesome.

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Okay, finished!

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I almost had a heart attack when he said “This is it!”  I brought back out the white hair sample and showed him the difference.  He just continued to say how scared he was and that we could try one more time.  And thank god we did because even though it didn’t come out white (seriously, who wants white hair?) it came out much better (they mixed white hair dye in this time with the bleach mixture):

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So here I was.  At this point it was about 5:30 PM which meant it took about 5 hours of actual hair-doing in addition to the travel time…exhausting day!  How much do you think it cost?  About 16 USD.  Kevin was terrified that I didn’t like it..he even messaged me the next day saying how worried he was.  And well, here is how I feel about it still:

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It’s mostly that I’m just not used to it.  And can you imagine what its going to look like when my roots come in?  Amazingly awful!  Can’t wait!

In the meantime, let me give you some of my favorite responses to my new hair:

“Omg why?” – This is just the typical one.

“Boy band?”

“Is that real?” – seriously?

“it is true that blondes have more fun…your eyebrows look so bored”

“omg it is so bad.  i hope when i come back it will be changed. i am sorry but why did you do this? do you think it is nice?”

And my personal favorite:

“What is happened?…….” followed by an exasperated, “You are stupid!” – Thank you, Sunshine (my colleague…a boy).

Generally speaking, it has been love it or hate it from most people, and one thing I have discovered is that people do not spare your feelings.  As I write this, my mother just called.  Here’s how our conversation went:

“I saw a photo of you…”

I laugh.

“I thought you were joking!!!”

I continue to laugh.

“I hate it!”

Still laughing.

“Why did you do that?  Oh my god, I really hate it.  I think you are regressing to an earlier age!  That’s something people do when they are much younger!”

I did clarify that I probably would nevvvvver do this in the US.  Also, I just kind of saw this as an opportunity to spice up my life during this renovation period that my restaurant is in.  I would never do this while I was working a full time job as a manager of a place.

All of this being said, I do think people should be a little bit more tactful.  If you don’t like it, that’s fine.  I’m finally adjusting to it, but is there really a need for someone to come up to me three times within fifteen minutes to tell me how much they dislike it?  I think not.  I mean, I’m fine with being the butt of jokes and things like that, but when people feel the need to tell me how upset they are about it more than once or twice, we must not have very many things to talk about…that or they just don’t understand what is acceptable social behavior (or both).  

Hair grows.  And as I have just proven, can easily change.  I’ll hang onto it for a little while longer, but it will be back to normal in no time.  I don’t normally feel the need to defend it because I know its absurd, but hey, you only live once…and for me, right now, Blonde is the New Black.

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After four years of living alone (in China), I, for the first time, have a roommate.  He’s the bar consultant for Wilber’s, and he’s from Hong Kong.  Although our work schedules are basically the same, our day schedules vary significantly since he sleeps until about 3 PM.  And although one would imagine having a roommate for the first time in years to be the biggest change in someone’s living situation, it isn’t even close.  Here are a few events that have happened/continued to happen over the past 3 months:

– I wake up to knocking on the door.  I get up and answer.  It’s a man.  Lao Wang.  He is the caretaker of the apartments apparently.  I’m not really sure though, I can’t understand what is happening.  He rushes through the place, touching everything and some other man comes in.  They set up the Wifi and leave.

– Twenty minutes later, there is a quieter knock at the door.  Unsure as to whether its real or not, I continue to lay in bed.  I hear someone put a key in the door.  It opens.  Now, I’m sitting in my bed waiting to be swiftly hacked to pieces by this stranger who possesses a key to my apartment.  Then the murderer knocks on my bedroom door.  Having seen law and order before, I’m pretty sure that a murderer would not knock on my door.  When I open it, I see a woman.  She says something I can’t understand, goes into my room, opens the balcony door, takes a bucket, fills it with water, and waters the tree plant things on my balcony.  She next tells me she will be doing this every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and leaves.  I allow this to go on for a week before telling her that it’s not necessary and I will water them myself.

– I get a phone call from Lao Wang.  He asks me where I am.  I give the phone to my colleague since he speaks at a rate of 1,000 words per minute rendering him completely impossible to comprehend on the phone.  Apparently, I have left my window opened, and there is rain in the forecast.  I instruct my colleague to inform him that I am not going home to close my window.  Upon arriving home 6 hours later (in which time it did not rain…), I discover my window is closed.

– I get up and head out for the day.  Later on, when I see Bo, my roommate, he tells me that Lao Wang has been to our place in the morning.  Respectfully, he knocked, and then brought in two girls.  They walked around our apartment, taking pictures of each of the rooms (including our bedrooms), and then left.  An hour later, two boys come in with Lao Wang, and get the same privileged tour.  I imagine we are being kicked out but have no idea.

– Plant Watering lady (who clearly has too much time on her hands now that I have relinquished her of the duty of watering my two trees) cannot understand why Bo put a pillow on the roof.  She asks me about this every day for a week.  I always tell her that I also don’t know.  Finally, she takes it in for Bo.  

– It’s 6 in the morning.  Bo hasn’t moved in yet, and I heard a frantic pounding on the front door.  It’s Lao Wang.  He comes running into my apartment and busts into Bo’s room.  Some pipe had busted and water was flooding out everywhere.  He frantically kills the water and turns to me.  I look at him completely confounded.  He asks me for a mop but I tell him that I don’t have one.  He runs back downstairs and comes back up.  “Go back to sleep,” he tells me.  Being 6:30 AM, I take up his offer.  He spends the next half hour mopping up the water.  When I wake up hours later, he is back with a new guy.  They are wearing my flip flops that were by the door and fixing the pipe in the bathroom.  

These are just a few of the highlights.  While the rate of the oddities is slowing down, they do continue, and I’ll be sure to keep updating them.  Now, I’m going to head out for the day.  Bye bye for now.

Only Miami is America


“Where are you from?” 

“The US,” I answer.  Upon seeing a blank look, I dumb it down…”America.”

“Oh.  Really?  Where in America?  I’m from Miami.”

Oh.  He’s one of them!  I guess.  What I mean when I guess this is, he is one of the Chinese people who has lived in the US or has even gained citizenship, but then comes back to China and tells every foreigner who he/she meets that they are from xx city in the States.  Most recently, I had someone tell me they were from New York, and when I asked where in New York, he lost all ability to speak English.  He apparently had citizenship, but my guess is he rarely ventured outside of Chinatown.

“Are you from New York?” he goes on.

“Close.  Pennsylvania.”

“I knew it,” he says.  Then he quickly corrects himself, “Are you really from America?  I don’t believe you.”

“I can show you my ID if you really want,” I laugh.

“Show it to me,” he says, dead seriously.

He takes the ID, looks at it carefully, and says, “Hmmm…”

In order to take the attention from his judgment of my Americanness, I attempt to tell him I have never been to Miami but am dying to go.  Before I can say that I would really like to go, he cuts me off, “You have never been to Miami?  You are not American.  You are not American.  You are Chinese.”

Being told I’m Chinese by a Chinese person was new!  Usually people guess that I’m Latino, Italian, Spanish, Middle Eastern or something fun like that.  But Chinese…that was a new one.  Obviously, he wasn’t serious, but the look on his face would beg the differ.

Upon digging deeper, I discovered that he was from Beijing, and I agreed to get in touch with him if I ever visited again.  I made sure to not ask for his contact details, and he being drunk, seemed to forget that exchanging phone numbers is crucial to future contact.

Moral of the story:  I am apparently less American than some of my customers who have spent a summer in Miami.  And, one day, I may become American….but not until I  visit Miami.

No more Mr. Frank


As many expected/predicted, I am still in China.  

But… year 5 is going to be different.  

For the first time since coming to China, I will no longer be an English teacher– No more Mr. Frank

So what is next on my plate?  Managing a restaurant/bar in the great city of Guangzhou.  It’s called Wilber’s, and it’s significantly classier than me.  

The restaurant will be undergoing renovations in September and re-opening in October.  So I’ll make sure to keep all of you, my loyal fans (my mom), updated.

I’ll post more about that later, but for now, I just wanted to get my toes wet and re-enter the world of blogging.  As has been pointed out, numerous times, by my lovely friends, Halina and Zak, my English has gone to (pardon my poor English) shit.  In an attempt to better document my typical adventures and maintain some of my native language, I will try to blog at least 3 times each week.

Now, I will grace you with some highlights from my 35 hour journey back to China:

– Met a local Scrantonian at the bar in Newark.  She didn’t want to drink Hoegaarden like me, but I’ll attribute that to her mafia background (she told me her family is the mafia from Scranton….).  She was shocked that I didn’t have a Scranton accent, then she sat down at a table and proceeded to study lines for some sort of play I imagined she was auditioning for in Canada.

– I was flying Air India.  What did this mean?  I would be the only white person on the plane, and spend the next 14 hours planning my future trip to India (Spring Festival 2014?).

– Silky (not Silvy) sat next to me on the plane.  S-I-L-K-Y.  K.  Not V.  Originally from Mumbai but now living in Jersey.  She’s a scientist.  When they announced they were looking for a doctor, I looked at her, and she informed me that scientists and doctors are not the same thing.  “Are you sure?” I asked.  “Yes,” she replied.  

Ravi, her 4 year old son, who shares the same name as any other Indian male I have conversed with as well as fake Indian in the in-flight movie I was watching (A Cinderella Story starring a girl I wanted to believe was Selena Gomez despite the information clearly saying it was the Hilary Duff version…), made sure we followed all the airline rules. 

Had to switch planes in Mumbai and fly to Delhi.  The 4-hour layover was significantly more painful than the 14 hour flight prior to it.

In the Delhi airport, I had my bag searched three times.  I apathetically stood there each time without saying a word.

After a 5-hour flight, I arrived in HK and was shortly thereafter on a bus to Guangzhou.

At the border, they let me in!

And after 35 hours of travel, I arrived in Guangzhou and headed straight to McDonald’s.  What happened next?  Some girl took a photo of me.  Having been away for nearly 3 weeks, I had almost forgotten about the paparazzi in China!  I turned to look at the girl who was blatantly flash a pic of me, and I noticed something quite strange.  She wasn’t Asian.  She was a Latina chica.  This is new, I thought, and left with my food.  

All in all, I imagine this year will be filled with many new experiences as well as typical ones.  I will no longer have the amusing student stories but I’ll do my best to replace them with service industry mishaps.  Feel free to comment.  Mwah.