Little Country Bumpkin Me

8 Mar

Anyone who’s read the ‘About’ section of my blog knows that I originally hail from a picturesque, but tiny Dutch village with more cows than people as inhabitants. Needless to say, I grew up knowing almost everyone there and Queen’s Day, the yearly fancy fair and summer parties were events well worth looking forward to. That said, having travelled a fair bit, I assumed moving to London would be a doddle. Nothing would faze me. I’d seen it all, remember? Well, think again…

Last Thursday I found myself having cocktails in a Soho bar. So far, so good. I know my mojitos from caipirinhas, I’m familiar with the trendy clique. Little did I know that I was in for an entirely new toilet ‘experience’. As I made my way to the toilets, I polity waited my turn. But no, the people in front of me weren’t queuing – they opened the door for me. Mild surprise there. As I stepped out of the toilet, the same girl was there again – turning on the tap. Curiouser and curiouser*. And then – squirting soap on my hands (she just about didn’t wash them for me) and handing me a paper towel. How’s that for an upgrade of the good old toilet lady?! Still slightly dazed, I regaled my date with the story, who nearly laughed himself silly. Hopefully, my ignorance has its charms.

What almost reads as the cocktail menu in said Soho bar, is the price list of your average hairdresser in London. First you have to decide on your treatment. Cut & Blow Dry. Half Head Highlights. Full Head Highlights. Brazilian Blow Dry (not to be confused with the other Brazilian)… The list is endless. It doesn’t stop there, because who should cut your hair? A stylist? A creative director? The salon director? And don’t you dare blink if they ask for £ 100.00 just to have your hair cut. Mind, it probably comes with a complimentary glass of champagne and caviar on toast. Or, as in my case in a salon for us lesser mortals, with mineral water and an individual bowl of pretzels.

I already wonder what decadence this city is going to throw at me next.

(* after Alice – Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Caroll)

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