Monday, June 3, 2013

The Joint is Jumping

9 o’clock and the joint is jumping. Music is thumping, and the chatter and the laughter that drifts from the windows is just about as exhilarating outside as in. One voice yaks over another and over yet another in rapid fire streams, followed by bursts of laughter in a variety of melodies. It takes a big gulp of courage to enter into this place the first few times. A foreigner walking into the room will shut down the conversation and laughter. But just for a brief moment. All eyes turned on the new comer. Only the radio is oblivious to the new client.

In the blink of an eye the noise starts back up, hands get back in motion and here inside  the click click of scissors can be heard in rhythm with the sing song french.

Take a seat and soon you’ll find yourself with a new look.

..... shampoo, cut and dry. Maybe a new color.......
Yep you got it - this is not the local bar, this is the hair salon on the corner.

There are many things to love about this place. 
Here in this little burg we are in the foamy end of a great fashion wave. Everyone left the salon with very bright, very loud, very small town chic, purplish red hair. Purple or blue streaks were not unheard of either. The ‘girls’ used to try to tempt me into giving my graying hair a bit of spark (more like a bolt of lightning), but, they have long since given up on that and now try to liven up my full head of gray hair with a spunky cut. 

And oh, the gossip that is tossed from one side of the room to the other. The stories I could know about Bourdeilles and my neighbors. But these are French women speaking to French women and when they get going it sounds more like a a wind storm than any language I have ever heard. So, for now, the village is safe from my revealing it’s intimate secrets to you. I will know I have broken the language barrier when I can get up from my haircut and come home to tell Tom some juicy tidbits. 
The salon is on the ground floor of a building dating from the 1700’s. The room is organized around the carved stone fireplace and the beautiful old beams that cross the ceiling. The room is warm and steamy in winter. Cool in the summer because of the stone walls. The space is a marvelous example of how one has to be flexible in respecting the heritage of these old buildings. 

Back out on the street my brain is spinning from the tumult of over-stimulation. But my hair sure does look great. 

Hmmm, I wonder if it’s too early to wander up the road to the bar?  (Don’t tell Tom I said that.)

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