had a hair cut, the other day" More...
Hello Morning Glory
I say morning glory? What a joke!" More...
Don't Call Me Medusa-head
I'll turn you into stone!)" More...
And finally... A Bad Hair Day
hair has been growing steadily, it's true." More...
In January, I went to the hairdressers,
for a new hair-cut...(Yep! That's all this newsletter is about,
"DEAR MUM, I had
a hair cut, the other day. I went to the Magic Salon, sat down,
and two hours later, viola! When I say a hair cut, it was more like
a hair-style, as no hair was actually cut. Instead, the hairdresser
just twisted clumps of my hair together, tight against my scalp
until it hurt. Two hours of twisting. Didn't like that bit too much.
But when she'd finished, wow! I had my first ever centre-parting,
and I liked how it looked. So did Caro-Anne, who came to watch.
(It was her Xmas present.)
I left the hairdressers
feeling great - a new look. But then everyone started staring at
me, up top. Strangers just laughed or pointed, and I was happy to
get home. I stayed in for the next few days, didn't even go to the
shops. At work, it was even worse - lots of not-so-furtive glances
at my head, with no-one saying anything. It was horrible. I don't
like my new hair-cut anymore. I'm going to get it changed, cut off
- that'll show them! I know you'd like it, Mum, but you're not here.
Caro-Anneewants me to keep it, but I'm not going to. Don't like
being laughed at - all the time. Don't like these silly people,
anymore - it is only a hair-cut, after all. Lots of love, Steve
So my new hair-cut was
dread-locks. So!? It's still only a hair-style, after all. I admit,
I did expect some kind of reaction, but I did not expect to feel
like the king of circus freaks. This wasn't the only problem I had...
Hello Morning Glory
DID I say morning glory?
What a joke! The matted tangle that is my hair is squashed and sloped,
first thing; and I look a mess. Corrective action must be taken.
So I loosen each strand, free, and twist back its body (clock-wise,
mind!). Twist and separate; then I finish with a few squirts of
holding spray. Perfect, almost. Leaning-Tower-of-Pisa head is no
more. But, my arms ache, I'm now late for work, and I still look
Well, there's no harm
in looking weird is there?
Don't Call Me Medusa Head
- Or I'll Turn You Into Stone -
I'VE TAKEN to looking
in the mirror these days. Head-to-head, sideways, even backward
glances at myself, all so I can finally decide what I think about
my hair. I have good days, where I think my locks are cool and funky,
but there are other, darker, days, when I dare not look.
On these days, little
boys flee from me. And grown-up folk stifle their laughter, trying
hard not to even look at me. My head walks past them all, determinedly
oblivious, and determinedly un-provoked. Because, on these days
- and I know it's uncanny - my head resembles that of Medusas: coiled
snakes, pointing in all directions. It's just that my snakes are
more inert than hers. (You still best look in the mirror, mind,
if you want to talk to me!)
Seriously, my new look
has provoked interesting, and culturally-revealing responses. It
has been a useful social experiment, despite my feeling like a freak
(but like the Murphy's...)
And Finally... A Bad Hair Day
MY HAIR has been growing
steadily, it's true. It's been growing, and going scruffily unbrushed.
So even then I had bad hair days, and even then Malawians took notice
of my head. At the time, their comments never bothered me; I was
in between hair-cuts, that's all. I was surprised at their surprise,
however. But I got by - and ignored their giggles and glances. Until
now; until I had dreadlocks put into my hair.
I thought I was easy
with being stared at. I thought that their words, hushed and not
so, would just rebound off my thick skin. I thought I would at least
join in with their laughter. I was wrong. From the minute my hair
was dreaded, I was wrong. Everybody notices me now.
In 4 weeks, I've had
most reactions: a blurted laughter; a stupefied stare; a disapproving
scowl ... thank goodness no-one has started crying! And no one,
but no one could resist one more quick look. You might as well have
put a fluorescent lamp-shade on my head. Strangers may laugh, but
Malawians that know you, theirs is the problem. Do they laugh, or
do they pretend that there is absolutely nothing strange with Steve's
hair. Do they ask you why, why, why, or do they tell you just what
they think. No. They do nothing.
Strangers are not so
shy. Now I get called Rasta Dube, or Rasta Man, or just plain Rasta.
I like it actually. It makes a refreshing change from Azungu or
the confusing Japan-easy (Japanese) or Chi-neasy. (That's some identity
Europeans don't make
much comment at all. They're familiar with this type of cross-cultural
fashion. They don't all like it, though - I can tell that there
are those that think I'm a vain and precious thing (with a stupid
hair-cut). I do get positive responses too. Some think the hair
looks funky, interesting, and one person even wanted to know the
name of my hair-dresser!
So why the problem with
Malawians? What's the big deal? There are several reasons I can
think of, and several more that will always remain hidden. Malawians
are tidy in appearance, almost immaculate - if you're scruffy, you're
poor. Malawians know little about rastafarians - they like Bob Marley,
but seem frightened of a real Rasta. Malawians have even worse preconceived
ideas than we do - a wealthy Azungu with the unkempt hair of a black
Rasta-man: it's just too confusing, and awkwardly so (after all,
it does challenge their prejudices somewhat). So I guess they're
excused, for now.
But all these childish
responses, day after day - back to silliness again - you know, it's
enough to make you stand up tall, defiant, and stride out. A hypnotic
dance rhythm would sound, getting louder and louder, as others start
to follow you. More and more people, follow, until finally, you
reach your goal: Ndirande mountain, and the township, below. You
look outwards, towards the township, and shout so loud: "Come
on. Right now! You and me! ... Come on! Come on! ... I wear cool-funky
dread-locks. Come on! Come on!"@ . Either that, or you beat
a quick retreat to the barbers for a short back and sides.)
Yours, Fido Dido
@ With apologies to the
Blackcurrant Tango advert., wot I aint even seen yet!
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