Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Getting a Haircut in Korea

Saturday was a day of firsts for me. My first haircut in Korea, the first time I have had my hair cut by a man and the first time in I don't know how long that I didn't get my standard number 4 clipper cut. I also played pool for the first time in Korea on Saturday.

My day started around lunch time with Jihyeon at my local Lotteria restaurant for lunch. It is pretty much the same as McDonalds but owned by a large South Korean conglomerate who also makes industrial chemicals, electronics and clothing. While there some of my students came in and said "Hello" and then said "G'day" while trying to throw an Australian accent. I politely returned the hello and waited for the inevitable "Teacher! Is she your girlfriend????" but was pleasantly left to eat my lunch in peace. 

It is starting to get hot in Korea so I thought I should get a haircut before it gets too long. I have also had really bad bed hair the last few weeks and forgotten to flatten it down before going to school on more than one occasion.... embarrassing. 

Hairdresser is on the second floor and as you can see takes up the whole floor.

The hairdresser was quite a different experience for me compared to what I am used to in Australia. For starters in Australia they are typically small operations with 3 or 4 seats and only a couple of people cutting hair. In Korea it was like a full on well oiled machine sucking people in and then spitting them out with a fresh new haircut. I didn't get as many photos as I would like because Jihyeon decided she wanted a haircut too, but here is what I have. 

The first thing I noticed when I walked in was a rather large reception desk like you would find in a hotel, not a hair dressers. 

We were ushered to a waiting area and chose which hair stylist we wanted to use. While we waited we were offered a drink and something to eat (for FREE). 

After waiting for about 20 minutes I was ushered to my hair stylist. I explained to Jihyeon what I normally got and she translated to the hair stylist. He flicked my hair around a bit and said he didn't want to give me the cut I wanted because he though it would look bad. Not wanting to piss the guy off and tell him how to do his job, I didn't argue and let him cut it how he thought it should be cut. 

I don't have any more pictures because Jihyeon had decided to get a hair cut too so was ushered off to her hair stylist. After getting my hair cut I was again ushered (I am not sure if it was because I was a dumb westerner who can't speak the language, or if ushering people around the salon is a normal part of the service) to a different room where I kicked back in a leather chair and had my hair washed by someone who's full time job was washing hair. After that was done I was again ushered to a different area of the salon where someone else (who's job was drying hair) dried my hair before the hair stylist made another appearance to check his handy work. 

After that I went shopping and bought a couple of new shirts to wear to work. I hate shopping for clothes in Korea. Everything seems so much more expensive than in Australia. In Australia It is easy to find cheap clothes, but here in Korea even the cheap supposedly factory outlet stores are kind of expensive ($70 for a shirt that is on sale). 

For dinner we went to an Italian restaurant called "Flying Pan". I have been there once before and ordered the lasagna which was good so I took Jihyeon back there because I know how she loves Italian food. BTW, big thanks to John for introducing me to this place.

Here is the location on Google maps. Attn Blogger: it is a pain to add a map to a blog post. FIX IT!

View Larger Map

After dinner we played pool. Pool (or 8 ball or billiards) is a popular pass time in Korea and there are pool halls everywhere, though not all of them have 8 ball. 

I won :)

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