WTF?!? Yeah, I used the “F”! I just got back from the nail salon Dolce.
Let me just say I had a whole plethora of other topics I wanted to address, but I need to get this down while it is still fresh.
Many of you may remember by hair salon experience. I think it was also helpful to me to prepare for something overthetop on the nail salon side. I wasn’t disappointed. I pass this place twice a day walking to and fro from Chase’s Bus Stop. I decided to check it out thinking this might be more cost-effective than the more mainstream salons where all the foreigners go. I made the appointment and today was the day.
Anyhow. I walk in, sign some forms registering myself. Everything is beautiful and pretty, just like the website shows you.
My last manicure was in the States and I had literally peeled the gel on three of my nails already. I walk through a hallway where there are private rooms to each side with something that looks like a dentist chair and a bunch of nail accouterments. I am seated in my private room and a blanket is put over my lap. Then one of the girls (I’ll call her 1) brings over like 5 pallets of nail options for my feet and hands.
I pick a soft pink for my nails (no razzle dazzle) just color on short piano ready nails. For my feet I say what the heck and get a little dizzle in the form of a black braidy thing on my big toe on a pink background. Simple. Once this is decided, I have again, 1 then 2, and 3, all on me. One girl on each hand and one girl on my feet. Btw, two days ago when I had lunch with Angela, I decided to venture out in good shoes (Christian Dior Platforms) thinking lunch was going to be close by, but nonetheless ended up with no fewer than 4 new blisters. That being said, “ Girlfriends, alcohol and blisters DO NOT mix.” Number 2 should have been grateful that I am in the middle of reading a story about Japanese POWs in the war because otherwise I might have reflexively done one of my famous kickboxing kicks in her face.
The manicure itself continues on in its own Japanese way, each girl being extremely precise and exact with their tools. I start surrendering to this whole weird experience when I realize that overhead I am listening to some Japanese girl band singing Michael Jackson covers with an accent. It just got weird again. After 1 and 3 are done with my hands, I am given a glass of sparkling water. 2 is taking a little longer but after she finishes she and 1 are asking me something and even though I don’t understand the Japanese totally, I see the foot files in each of their hands and I say, “hai.” The next thing I know, they have placed a sheet of paper under my feet and each of them takes a foot with aforementioned foot file and starts filing away. I start wondering if this how Pinocchio felt just before he came to life. I swear, I am so embarrassed by my flying debris I have to grab my phone and pretend to be doing something important lest I accidentally have eye contact.
They finally finish filing and now my feet will probably fit into those old Ferragamo’s I haven’t been able to wear. They tell me as a “presento” I get to keep my foam toe separators.
Sometimes I will be asked about cost of living comparisons between Atlanta and Tokyo. I am going to try to be better at letting you all know what I am paying for things here even though I do think it gauche to talk about money but I know it does interest some of you.
So an hour and half later, at the counter, I see the invoice (yes, I’m calling it that). They charge separately for feet and hands. They charge for:
removing the gel, filing the nails, the new gel coat, for the color of the gel coat, the Geppetto special, for the top coats, and the separator wasn’t really a present… all in all the total came out to, 36,540 yen. In US Dollars = $471.51.
Next time you are at the salon, I hope you think of me and give your girl/man an extra tip. Also, the next time you see me, if you see me coming off the plane with some raggedy ass hands, I think you’ll know why.
Deep Breath now. Like I said, I literally ran home to type all this down.
The reason I decided to break down and do all this is Cliff and I have a wine-tasting and the TAC tonight at 7pm. Of course TAC’s Cub Scout group is also meeting at that time so I will have to hit that for an hour, put Chase in a taxi and then join the dinner. Will need to blog about the whole Cub Scout thing separately.
Useful things for potential expats: I have continued to add to my disaster kit thanks to my sister in DC who is also my US mailing address. I am shopping on Amazon US for these things because even though Japan’s Amazon is good, it doesn’t seem to have everything I would like. I bought a camping tent, another sleeping bag, some cans of tuna, some candy, hard hats, work gloves, you get the idea. If I had known about this whole disaster kit thing, I would have done it while still in the US and had it shipped over with my furniture. The other useful thing is what I call “city bags”. Most all the men here carry a type of man-purse. I had to call it something else so that I Chase wouldn’t accuse me of trying to make him carry a purse and we found a really cool one at Tokyo hands. It is better to get one that drapes across the body for ergonomic reasons and it frees the arms. I too have forsaken my designer leather/skin purses which I love for my old nylon backpack when I know I have a long day ahead of me. These are definitely things I am happy to have and would have gotten in the States. I do break out my purses when I have to go somewhere where a blue backpack might “throw the whole look off”.
I will try to take a picture of Chase modeling his citybag. If you see him on our next visit, PLEASE don’t refer to his purse.
I’m exhausted now. -Oh, I forgot POD! I have 2 of the same thing.:
I felt like I needed to mention these things before I started not noticing how small the garage space is here in Tokyo! I can’t tell you how happy I am not to have a car, but if I had to park like this everyday, let me just say the odds would not be in my favor. WTH? you need a machete to get out of that one garage!
Until next time my peeps!…