Ah joy of joys, I found a woman in town who knows how to cut my Swedish/Scottish hair (one great advantage to living in Namibia with a very diverse population). She and her husband own Katima Security, the premier security firm in town, but on Saturdays, she does hair. So this morning I had my appointment and went to her house. She has converted what would normally be, I think, a family room or playroom into a real salon — with everything from a shampoo station to a reception “bar” (what is the proper name for those things) to a flat screen TV! For a very affordable $30 Namibian, I got a good, proper haircut. And she cut it in a way that it will look pretty much the same even after removing my bike helmet. There was no problem when I said I didn’t need a wash (since I haven’t washed my hair in 3 months) and now it just feels so good. Happy!
An aside: personally, I’m not terribly keen on bike helmets in a small town like Katima where bicycle/car altercations are very, very rare (I haven’t met anyone who’s ever heard of one happening). However, about a month ago a new policeman was transferred up here — Heinrich is his name — and he decided, or was told, to enforce the Namibian helmet law. I had no idea there was a law in Namibia that said every cyclist must wear a helmet, but apparently there is and it is a $100 fine if you are caught without a helmet (not a small amount of money and if you don’t have $100 on the spot, they confiscate your bike!). Heinrich arrived, started giving out citations and within 2 weeks, Katima transformed from a place where I never saw a single person wearing a bike helmet to a place where everyone, all the time, wears a helmet (of some sort–proper, safe helmet usage was clearly not part of the strategy. I’ve seen helmets on with no strap, backwards and the most popular — hard hats as helmets). Though I would much prefer to be able to ride sans helmet and not muss my hair, it is hard not to be impressed with that little bit of policing.
The other joy this week was that the Pharmacy finally restocked their nail polish and got some nice colors in, so I sprung for a bottle (at $51 for 8ml, it is not cheap–but they have the good stuff, this comes from London, so it lasts longer). Voilà my toes! I think I did a decent job, if I may say so and I really like having painted toenails. And you all thought I didn’t have a girly side 😉