Musings of an Englishman who literally quit his life in Devon in mid-2012 to move to Tijuana to love a girl.
They ended up in San Diego where he became a TV anchorman (yes really...), they got married, and now they're living in England together.
Simple as that really.
Follow your heart, who knows where it will lead.

Crazy. Beautiful. Madness.

Friday, 22 February 2013

Hair today, gone tomorrow

“SHE’s asking how many fingers you want…?” Jacky explained to me as I sat perplexed in the beauty salon chair.
“Er, can you tell her it’s very kind of her to offer, but I’d rather just a 'short back and sides' for now…” I replied.
My British humour was once again lost in translation here in Mexico.
Of course the young hairdresser was asking how much hair I wanted cut off, and referred to ‘fingers’ as her guide.
I’d never been asked that in a hairdressers’ chair before, so of course I resorted to comedy to at least get a laugh.
Epic fail.
*Anyone else see that tumbleweed roll past?
As many travellers know, it’s the seemingly innocuous things that provide the greatest confusion and hilarity.
Back home if I want a haircut it’s normally easy.
“Hi, trim please…”
Twenty five minutes later – done.
But in a foreign land everything is a challenge if you don’t speak the language.

And maybe a little more off the other side...?!

Due to me being a giant here (most Mexicans are very short) even the process of positioning me in the hairdressers’ chair provided hilarity.
Imagine someone getting a ladder to trim an overgrown bush and you’ll have some idea.
Due to my height – and the vertically challenged nature of the hairdresser – she deflated the chair to its lowest form, and then asked me to slump down as far as I could so she could reach the top of my head.
I ended up sitting about two inches off the floor with my arms on the armrests so my shoulders were actually level with my ears.
And while some of the people waiting to get their haircuts chose to read the magazines strewn about the salon, others just stared at me and laughed for alternative entertainment.
“Trim please,” I said finally in position.
“Que?” came the reply.
“Um… t-r-iiiiimmm…?” Just in case I needed to emphasize what I’d said prior.
“Short back and sides? A little off the sides and top? Er… like now but shorter than?!”
*Hairdresser points to her fingers.
“Okay, dos um… fingers” I added confidently.
About 25 minutes later the hairdresser had made her way round to the back of my head, and began asking Jacky – now in hysterics – something in Spanish.
“She wants to know how you have your hair at the back?” Jacks told me.
“Uh… shorter…?”
“I can’t see the back of my head so it’s difficult to know how I usually have it.”
Cue more Spanish discussion.
“Level or rounded?” Jacks then asked me?
“Oh, whatever,” I replied now tired of the unexpected fuss.
Eventually I walked out of the salon feeling confident I had something which resembled something my regular English hairdresser usually creates.
It wasn’t until I got home that I realized the Mexican hairdresser had somehow forgotten to cut one side of my head.
“Awwww… you can’t blame her, she was nervous!” Jacks pleaded.
“Nervous?! I was terrified! And now I look strange!”
AND my English hairdresser (Jon) is going to throw a fit when he sees me!
Needless to say I won’t be going back there again.
Jim Morrison of The Doors fame once (reportedly) said: “some of the greatest mistakes in my life have been made in this [hairdressers’] chair”.
I can emphasize with him.
As much as I try I will never truly blend in, here in Mexico.
But I do try and avoid anything which makes me look even more foreign or weird than I know I am.
Apparently my nickname is ‘el guero’, translated as ‘the blonde’.
Take from that as you will.

Oh, before I forget... thanks again for all our birthday messages. Can't tell you how weird it is to share your birthday with your fiancee!

Oh, and oh... I'm on Twitter to... 'tristan_nichols'.
Shameless plug yes, but lots of banter and other funny observations from an Englishman (or 'idiot') abroad.


  1. I totally enjoyed your article Tristan.



  2. Thanks very much Rafael. A pleasure.