….or Learn How to Say No Thank You in Whatever Country You Happen to Live.
It had been about three and a half months since my last ‘beauty treatment’, shall we say, and my eyebrows were lookin’ a bit mangy.
So, I asked my friend, Ragnhild, who works at the local senior citizens home if she could make an appointment for me to see the lady who runs their ‘Spa Room’ for a little touch up. I had no clue as to the cost for such a treatment, but I was prepared to pay about 100 NOK (about $13) for it, not counting the 40 NOK for the bus to get there. When Ragnhild had showed me this spa earlier this year, she had said that the lady uses a thread to do the eyebrows. A thread! I was definitely intrigued, and I looked up this process on YouTube. You can also view this little tutorial here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eWkrVzhuqrE
I show up this morning for my appointment, which was not exactly an appointment, but more like a suggestion, and wait for my turn. This charming lady, who is from Iran, was personable and lovely. Her name is Mari, and she speaks a little bit of English, but mostly Norwegian. I lie back in the comfy chair with equally comfy footrests, and I do feel like this will be a spa treatment. She proceeds to pluck my (numerous) stray hairs, in the traditional way with tweezers, and I ask about the thread way. “Oh, you want this way?”, she asks, “Okay.” Eventually, she begins the threading process. (I guess because it was like a jungle or something, and threading only works when it hasn’t been three and a half months since your last trim.)
So, how was it, you ask? Not bad. She shows me a mirror for my approval, and I think, yep, looks pretty good.
Then, she points to my upper lip and says “Here too?”. Well, what was I supposed to say? When a professional beauty consultant suggests a change in your appearance, you oblige, right? I nod my head approvingly, and she starts the threading process there. Oh. My. Word. That was so painful! My eyes began to tear up, and I was laughing at the absurdity of it all at the same time! We had to stop, mid-process, several times just for me to gain some composure!
Finally, this was over. I asked her how much I owed her, and she says “200 kroner”. [“What?, I am thinking all I have in my wallet is 215 kroner, and that will not leave enough for the return bus ticket!] I ask her about the price list on the front door of the Spa, where it lists an eyebrow treatment for 100 kroner, and she politely says that the eyebrows are 100, but the rest would have been 250. But “200 is fine”. Smiling, I give her my last 200 kroner bill, and I hug and thank her as I leave.
Hurrying out the door of the senior citizens home, I knew I had missed the last bus I could have taken using my transfer which is only good for an hour and a half after they give it to you. So, I waited until the next bus came, hoping that the driver would show grace and allow me to ride. I even practiced saying in Norwegian “I only have 15 kroner”, in case he said no and ordered me off the bus. I was not looking forward to having to walk the several miles back home in the cold and mist. Well, I handed the driver my transfer (knowing it was now 8 minutes past the expired time), and he looked at it and motioned for me to come ahead and sit. 😀
240 NOK was the total price of getting a little eyebrow trim (etc). About $32. They do look nice though.