Indulgences

Remember when I said I was going to look for a new “hairgiver”?

Well, I just couldn’t do it. The fear of the unknown was greater than the fear of the known. Things could get worse, after all. This I know from my first hair experiences in Russia when I came out of the salon a redhead. Many times. (Like platinum, red is not for me. It is not a color I wear well anywhere north of my lips). Red was very popular in Moscow in the early 2000’s.

So, with that in mind, I went back to my platinum creator.

And you know what? It was pretty good.

I am still a few lighter shades than I would normally be, but we are definitely making progress. I now have highlights AND lowlights, so I am guaranteed to have a slightly less skunky look in 3 months’ time when I go in for a re-touch.

In addition to getting my hair done, I decided to splurge and get a pedicure AND have Shellac put on my stubby fingernails (my nice long nails not surviving the frenzy of gardening I threw myself into to try to tame the jungle yard at our house in Sweden…the yard won).

(BTW, if you have never heard of Shellac, then you are missing out on the best invention since Mystic Tan…like nail polish but tough as gel or acrylic with less material, less hassle, and less time).

Boy, was I in for an experience. Do you remember the scene (I will date myself here) in The Wizard of Oz when the lion is being brushed, filed, poofed, and polished all at once by a team of munchkin beauticians?

Well, that was me today. I had:

• THREE people at my head (one person tearing and handing out foil; one person holding onto the sections of my hair waiting to be colored; and my guy who was actually doing the highlighting).
• ONE person at my feet doing my pedicure
• ONE person at my hands doing the manicure and Shellac

And when I had to move from the station where I was getting my hair colored to the sink area for rinsing, the entire team went with me (AND there was another person to shampoo my hair…who gave me the moan-worthiest head massage I think I have ever experienced).

There I was, lounging horizontally with my head in the sink (where it stayed for a looooong time, the rinsing process taking place over a 20-30 minute period to avoid over-processing of any area) while my feet and hands were attended to by the pedicurist and manicurist. Truly, it was a masterpiece of synchronization. While it may not have been the most relaxing pedicure or manicure I have ever had, it was without a doubt the most efficient.

And to be honest? While I would never want a massage to be hurried, when it comes to the sporadic maintenance of my hair and nails, I am all about taking care of business quickly. Get in and get out as fast as possible. And this system does just that! Truly impressive.

Normally, I would not have more than one grueling day of pampering in a week (or month…or more…), but this was the week for indulgence. I spent a decadent day yesterday on a boat with a group of about 20-25 ladies, plus chef, waiter, lots of yummy homemade food the ladies brought on board, fresh fish the chef grilled, fresh fruit, champagne, wine, Raki (Turkish drink…like pernod), etc. etc.

It was the last trip of the season. The boat is privately commissioned by the group of ladies during the summer. Every Wednesday, the boat makes the rounds to the ladies’ respective piers, and the women hop on board with their culinary treats and off they go to some lovely beach location.

There, the boat is anchored and the day is spent lounging in the sun, chatting, swimming and just relaxing.

Oh. And eating. And drinking. Which is provided by the staff onboard with as impressively efficient service as I experienced in the hair salon.

The reason I got so lucky as to be able to participate in this lovely lounge fest (that lasted from 10AM – 6PM) was because of my neighbor and friend from Russia. She was in Istanbul with another friend who used to live here. They were visiting the woman who is in charge of this lovely boat trip ritual.

(Never underestimate the benefit of connections.)

So, before I know it, I was whisked from my pier and welcomed aboard, a glass of champagne thrust into my hand and an array of tasty hors d’oeuvres offered to me.

(BTW, the boat is a lovely vessel with comfortable lounging areas and throw pillows galore. AND, thankfully, the very necessary toilet.)

So, I had a great day, catching up with my lovely friend as well as chatting with the other women, fascinating women, many of whom have lived in Turkey for decades. We lounged, ate, lounged, drank. Tanned. Swam (well, many did…I was too lazy to trade my comfy sofa seat for 28 degree C water). It was a rough day.

Oh, and I also got my Turkish coffee dregs read (common tradition here).

Which forecast that we will be moving away from Istanbul soon.

Which, if that is the case?

I will go kicking and screaming…