21st November There’s more news today of violence in the surrounding area. This time, a bomb from the Burmese army landed in the yard of a local teachers home. Thankfully, it didn’t detonate but his family have had to move out of their home to safer confines. He asked the army to remove the unexploded ordnance. It’s now buried in his back garden.
It’s hard to imagine all of this chaos happening just a few miles away when the village we’re in is so tranquil and so rural. It’s also difficult for a foreigner like myself to understand the reasons behind all this violence but the main reason stems back probably hundreds of years (although I’m not sure & more research needs to be done on my part).
Politically it is a very interesting part of the world, and socially it is fascinating to see how positive the residents here still are despite all the politically negative energy that is happening all around them. There’s still so much laughter and happiness. There’s positivity, ambition and a drive to succeed but most importantly, a real concentration on well-being. The outlook of the people here is so refreshing.
And for times when I feel like I really don’t understand what is going on with the violence here, at least I can take some time out between classes, sit in the sun, relax, absorb a healthy amount of Vitamin D and reflect on what’s happening here whilst listening to some tunes from home.
After classes today I decided to get my hair washed, cut and blow dried as a little treat (it’s really difficult to wash my hair under the sink, and the other option is a shower with chilly water!) so I wandered across the track from the school with one of my students who helped to explain to the hairdresser what I wanted, and I laid back on the massage table.
She collected my hair behind my head and poured warm water over it…. WARM WATER! Such a luxury!! We don’t have any warm water here so this was a really welcome surprise! Then the hairdresser rubbed the shampoo into my hair, thoroughly massaging it into my scalp and also massaging the top of my neck. I closed my eyes from the cardboard clad walls, ageing mirrors and the oldest hairdressing chair I had ever seen… and relaxed. For the first time in such a long time. It was so great to feel pampered! She moved my head gently to the left and continued massaging. All around the front of my hair line, to behind my ears and the crown of my head. It was wonderful.
She then washed the soap from my hair and applied the conditioner, continuing her massage and eventually rinsing again with the lovely warm water. It felt so nice having warm water on my head again! Every inch of my scalp welcomed each temperate drop. Wrapping my hair in a towel we moved from the massage bed to the hairdressers chair where she proceeded to comb my hair, find my parting and started to roughly blow dry the excess water from my hair.
Before too long she was combing through the lengths ready for the trim, layering my hair at the front and cutting my side fringe back in, which had long since grown out. The mirror infront of me was slightly cracked in places and the shelf infront of me was a little wonky. But it didn’t matter, this lady knew how to make someone feel special even with limited resources and isn’t that what hairdressing is all about?
She finally blow dried my hair into place. I felt so fresh, and happy that my hair was now clean and split end free. I went to pay her… the bill came to an almighty 3,000 kyat…… ok, I’m only kidding, it was that price, and it sounds like a lot but it’s actually only £1.80. Bargain!
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