April 16, 2010

12 minutes late

I don't have any pics to post today, because the motor in our camera lens died on us, but I am feeling like blogging tonight anyhow. 

I received my first dose of reverse culture shock today, at the beauty shop of all places.  Due to the fact that I have three kids and have forgotten how to drive a car, I was 12 minutes late for my hair appointment this afternoon.  All three beauticians and both clients inside the shop made sure that I felt the magnitude of what I had done.  As my hairdresser went into the back room to stir up the bleach for my hair, I felt a lump growing in my throat and I couldn't hold back the tears.  I felt like saying, "You don't understand, I just came from a culture where you could never be 12 minutes 'late' for anything because the guy who says he will come on Wednesday morning to fix your dryer might show up sometime Friday afternoon," but then I realized that the first part of that sentence would be completely true - they don't understand.

So, I swiped my eyes and swallowed hard and began to talk to Viki about her Greek heritage as she foiled my has-not-been-properly-attended-to-in-nearly-two-years hair.  I paid with a check (something that took me a while to write out because I had forgotten how), being sure to tip her (something else that I am totally out of the habit of doing) and drove away, feeling for the first time the "still an American but not really" feeling that everyone warned me about.  And so it begins.