Last Saturday morning after Chinese lessons at home (more info coming in a future post) we ventured out to get haircuts for Chris and Jake and then our plan was to hike a local mountain for some exercise and sightseeing.
Their scruffy appearance and the fact that it had been 8 weeks since their last haircut was all the motivation to find a salon and experience this since arriving in China. Per a recommendation from our friend Jessica we went to a salon next to one of the local grocery stores we shop at. We asked Mr. Xiang to come in with us incase we had any problems communicating. We walked in and immediately Jake and Chris were brought back to the washing station. Mr. Xiang was very kind and stayed with Jake the entire time to comfort him. While the boys were getting a 10 minute wash and head massage I was trying to figure out how to communicate to the stylist what I wanted for Jake's hair. I looked around at the hair-do's of the stylists (all males) and many were big, poofy, and 80s inspired. Finally I found a stylist with a cut similar to Jake. After Jake sat in the styling chair I hand gestured the other stylist over to Jake's chair and pointed to his haircut and then to Jake's head and hoped they understood what I meant.
Jake was a good trooper and sat nicely. I also peeked in at Chris to see if he was managing okay as well. He seemed to be doing fine. After their cuts they went back to the washing station for a second rinse and massage. Then back to the chair for a blow dry. The Chinese don't use hair products like gels, mousse, creams and hairsprays. Jake's hair can be styled without product however Chris's hair requires gel so that it doesn't become a big afro. After the haircuts we had plans to go sightseeing but we made a pitstop back at home to style Chris's hair with some gel. To spare him the embarrassment I didn't post a photos of his head with out the product. Next time we'll bring some of our own products for styling. Here are my handsome boys!
After the pitstop at home we took a short drive to a local park called Zhao Mu Shan. It's a large mountain with walking paths, ponds, ancient walls, buildings, and picnic areas. We hiked up the mountain enjoying each little new surprise around each corner.
We explored for 90 mins at Zhao Mu Shan and saw many wonderful things. Next time we go we'll pack a picnic lunch and make it a longer trip and really absorb all it's beauty. On our way back down the mountain we chatted with two locals. One spoke very good English and was a English teacher at a local university. His English name happened to be Chris. He was very excited to talk to us and find out where we are from. He has a daughter living in the States and he visits her 3-4 times a year. He is only in Chongqing until the end of February then he will be traveling to Mexico for 10 months for a teaching assignment. He asked us if he could meet again and show us an area of the city. We exchanged contact info and will try to see him again before he leaves. The second local only spoke Chinese and I was very impressed with the 5 minute conversation Chris had with him in Chinese. Chris was able to understand the questions he was asking like: why we are in Chongqing, how old are our kids, where we are from etc...When we reached the bottom we all smiled at each other said "Zaijian" (Goodbye) and we were on our way back home.