The Shuckin’ Beauty Salon

I decided to go to a real beauty salon to wash the gray outta my hair. Mamita, my closest girlfriend in Dominican Republic, said there is a good and cheap salon near her home. So off I go to Mamitas on a Sunday so we both can go to the salon.
We sat outside on the patio and watched for when it was a good time to go. There is a cafeteria place connected to the salon. The salon owner owns both places.

When we decided the time was right to head across the street and up a few houses we headed out. The salon was open in the front to the street with some people hanging out and kids running about.

Of course, they didn’t speak English in this salon so, with Mamitas help, we decided what color to make my hair. It took some discussion because for Dominicans it does take time, first you have to discuss the issue at hand. Then decide the what ifs. For example, what if the color comes out wrong, what if it doesn’t take, wonder how long it will take before the gray shows again, what if the power goes out, and so on. Finally, after much discussion I sit in the chair. The beautician gets the goop on my head.

There are a few people in the cafeteria drinking beer by this time. I’m not used to people watching me sit in a salon and getting my hair done. But it really didn’t matter. The man sent a beer for me into the salon! I didn’t care if he sat and watched with his mouth hanging open if he was sending beers.

I never had a beer sitting in a beauty salon before. We had already had a few, the girls and I, before the man started sending them over. We were drinking a little slower than he was sending so we just kept putting them in the fridge. There were about 5 of us plus the beautician all enjoying the bien frias.

I was watching Mamita getting her hair done when in comes this huge burlap bag of peas. The bag opens, bowls are brought in, and we ladies in the salon commence to shucking peas. I haven’t shucked a pea in many years and here was a whole sack of them just waiting to be shucked! And I NEVER shucked a pea while sitting in a beauty salon with dye on my head drinking a beer trying to understand what everyone was talking about! And I didn’t even have my camera with me.

I had so much fun. I never enjoyed a salon experience so much in my life. We ladies sat there and talked and shucked those peas so the cafeteria could cook them for dinner. Mamita and I did take a shuckin’ break to go and eat some lunch. With towels on our heads, Mamita and I enjoyed our lunch. I can remember I had Liver with the tomato sauce, rice and beans and some warm potato salad. All very good and necessary because those beers kept coming.

Most of the peas, which I found out later were called guandules, were husked. Both Mamitas and my hair was gray-less and trimmed. We were feeling like we looked our old beautiful selves again (LOL!). Many beers were drunken out of our little plastic glasses and bottles returned. Thanks given to the man that supplied us with our imbibition (plus we had a few to walk back across the street with us. Of course, we had to have something to drink while sitting on the porch). My $300 pesos paid for my new do. The day was a good one.

I had another new experience in my wonderful new country, Dominican Republic.

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