Tip #423: A Brave New World- Getting a Haircut in Amman

“You can learn new things at any time in your life if you’re willing to be a beginner. If you actually learn to like being a beginner, the whole world opens up to you.”  Barbara Sher

Yesterday, I looked out the office windows and saw what looked like either fog, smoke or smog. Since it has been a clear fine cool day on the way to the office, it was very surprising.

However, I got my greatest surprise when Mona said that it was a sand storm! They get very bad ones about 4 times a year, and each instance lasts for at least two days. Then they get lots of these smaller sand storms.

Ghassan, who drove Cassie and me home after work, said that the project pays a man to come three times a week to wash their cars (twice on the outside and once on the inside) because of all the grit and sand raised by those storms.

Last night, I did something very brave for me. My hair was too long and scraggly, so I decided to go to the hotel saloon and get my hair cut. This was very brave because I have gone to the same woman to cut my hair for the past 30 years!

This was a fascinating experience.  A young woman, who turned out to be a Filipino who came to Amman 5 years ago for work, served as my interpreter. When I gestured that I wanted 1″ taken off, I got worried that the hairdresser would think I meant that I wanted my hair to be 1″ long! She rescued me- then offered me a drink. I sipped my water while my hair was cut.

She told me that so many Filipinos have come to Amman for work that they have their own grocery stories and restaurants! The tiny woman who takes care of serving the office must be Filipino.

This young woman at the saloon told me that when she came to Amman, she didn’t know any Arabic but she has become fluent now. I asked her how difficult that was- and she said it was very hard.

Cassie, who has been here very often, has a notebook with Arabic words (written phonetically in English, of course) and she practices using them and learning new ones. I am just starting to learn some myself.

By the way, my haircut was absolutely wonderful and I love it! It’s very short, so I don’t have to do anything to it in the morning. Whew!

May your learning be sweet.

Deborah

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