Thursday, 18 April 2013

Unruly hair and shiny faces

In my first blog I expressed some of my concerns about moving to Hong Kong and one of my more shallow worries was how my hair would cope with the humidity.  Having been here for almost two weeks, I am now qualified to officially confirm that the answer is - not very well.  I am fast resigning myself to the fact that, in Hong Kong, there is no such thing as a good hair day, instead some days are less bad than others.  Yesterday was a particularly bad hair day as not only did the humidity make my hair into a frizzy, unruly mess, but to add insult to injury, I was caught out in a downpour, creating a rather hideous lank, frizzy effect.  The only way to cheer myself up was to hang-out in the Apple store in the glossy IFC mall and let myself be persuaded to buy a new iPhone 5.

It is not just the bad hair days that a girl needs to worry about, the humidity also lends itself perfectly to shiny face syndrome.  As a woman, there is nothing more irritating than spending time getting your make-up just right, only to walk outside into the heat and for it to melt off your face in an instance, leaving a bare, sweaty eyesore.  This situation is becoming an every day occurrence for me, and as much as I try to convince myself that I look fine au-naturel - I know in my heart of hearts that I need all the help I can get.

This morning I set-off on my morning walk up to The Peak and I noticed that I was feeling much hotter and finding the walk far harder going than previous walks.  It was only when half-way to the top and I had almost finished my water, my clothes were soaking, salty sweat was stinging my eyes, my hair was sticking to my head and my entire body was coated in a glistening layer of sweat - that I realised it must be exceptionally humid today.  It was with great relief that eventually I plodded the final steps to the top of The Peak and found an empty bench to sit on so I could cool down and get my breath back.

Within seconds I noticed a group of uniformed Kindergarden aged Chinese children and their minder staring at me and then to my sweaty dismay, they headed over to me.  I still had water trickling down my face and I looked one big 'hot mess' but not in the good sense.  The children's minder turned out to be their teacher and he asked if the three boys could ask me some questions in English and have their photo taken with me.  It crossed my mind that they wanted my photo as they had never in their lives seen such a large, panting, sweaty European woman before.  After  enduring the humiliation of posing for a series pictures with the boys, I vowed that I would never ever become famous to ensure that the photos couldn't appear on the cover of Closer or Heat accompanied with the headline 'SHOCKING photos of Adrienne Walder before she made the big time'!

The three little boys:

After the photo session the boys disappeared into the crowd of tourists and that, I thought, would be the last I saw of them.  How wrong I was.  Five minutes later the three boys reappeared and presented me with a fan - prompting a strange combination of emotions - I was touched yet humiliated all in one go.

My new fan:

So all in all - it is fair to say that the Hong Kong climate is not well-matched to my European genes.  However, I will just have to become a little less vain and man-up or stay inside under the air-con!

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