Sunday, April 11, 2004


lazy sunday morning. went to that pig-trotters market/hawker centre for breakfast with joe thomas and mark. had a feast for breakfast, eating chwee kuay, carrot cake and duck rice topped with sugarcane juice. bought papers.
mark then gave me a ride to extension so i could go to the barber.

went to the same one we went like 3 months ago with the scrabble gang. the auntie surprisingly remembers me (dunno if she does this i-remember-you trick on every customer), and asked why i haven't visited for so long. sheesh. i was tempted to question if i was the right person she remembered, but decided to play along anyway. she did remember that the last time i went i had long hair which i cut short though which kinda impressed me (i myself can't even remember when i last had a hair cut), and said my hair was so long now and blah.

anyway we were chatting throughout my cut, though i thought yakking while cutting someone's hair is a recipe for disaster (and i didn't really like the cut).
she said i had really nice hair and was good for keeping long. she said i'd look better with dyed hair. and i look better when my glasses were off (why don't you try contacts?). all i did was brush the comments off, with a gentle laugh here and there just to keep her happy. she probably said the same things to everyone.

hairstyling aunties are lonely creatures sometimes. they sit in that little room (least it's air-conditioned) and stare at the pastel blank walls when there're no customers, or chat with any other miserable colleague at work with them, of which there isn't much to say anymore when they see the same fella for like 8hrs a day, 6 days a week. so its probably nice to be able to chat with a customer every once in a while, and find out what's going on outside.

it's particularly sad for this auntie today since there weren't any customers throughout the duration of my cut. so you could kinda tell what kinda day it was gonna be for them (i might just have been the highlight of their day).

so we talked.

we talked about why men still looked better with shorter hair. and yet why men with long hair still end up attracting all the teens and aunties a la f4 or 5566. auntie says they rebond their hair and they maintain it religiously, while normal men don't pay so much attention if they keep long hair. therefore it led me to conclude that if you wanna keep long hair AND be popular with the girls, you gotta maintain and spend lotsa time with that mop above. which kinda contradicts my purpose of keeping long hair because i can't be bothered maintaining and geling short hair every morning anyway. auntie reiterated that i should dye my hair.

we talked about her being m'sian and how marginalising it was for her up north what with the bumiputra perks and concessions, which leaves the minority chinese and indians with little opportunity for higher education. so she had to come down to singapore for work where she met her husband (a signaporean chinese) and all that. she's got a kid liao and one more on the way.

she also lamented about the laziness of the malays which i totally agreed (that kickstarted some really super-auntie ranting and blabbering on my part). so its true and i'm not alone here to think that malays are a lazy lot who're happy just making babies, having just enough to eat, guitar in one hand leaning against a banyan tree under some rustic farming backdrop. family motorcycle leaned on the otherside of the tree.

but she spoke of the stifling education system in singapore. and yet she wanted her kids to have a singaporean education. it was stifling on one hand and yet you have to admit that the person the system molds you to be is one that's ripe to strive and achieve economic success and improved standard of living. in singapore she says, if you are not afraid to work hard and eat abit of hardship, life will be good for you in the long run. how true.

hairstyling aunties may be coooped up, but they still walk the way of the wise.

auntie also gave me a super long wash with shampoo and conditioning at no extra cost (how nice of her, though i also wouldn't expect to pay for that). along the way she asked me to guess her age. hmm, i thought a woman's age was a secret. anyway i HAD to be nice so i came up with a flattering number 27 (by gosh inside i thought she looked nearing 40!), which sent her into a little giggle. i got a feeling aunties love that. anyway it turned out i wasn't far off (must've been the make up), she was only 28. eeks. i thought my own mother looked only a wee bit older. usual i did the whole auntie-pleasing routine by repeating how young she looked and blah (she even had the cheek to say she bopian, must maintain the youthfulness mah, wah lao!). haiz the things i would do for a long hair wash.

anyway she told me to come back once more before i graduate else i wouldn't come back anymore afterthat she said. and she once again said i have to dye my hair. geez. all i could spill in reply was a lichun-like 'orh'. then i paid up and left. probably the highlight of my day.

all for $8.

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