I still can't say what I want to say
It's been almost four years. I know how this city works. I speak the language. I've even mastered the slang. So why do I suddenly get tongue-tied in a hairdresser's, and find myself completely unable to explain what the hell I want? It was hard enough to understand what sleek golden haired Fabian was saying to me over the drone of hairdriers and the punchy punchy of electronic beats, but all of a sudden I found myself at a loss when it came to useful expressions like "thin out" and "the curls will bounce up and I will look like a Pomeranian". I felt under pressure, knowing that if I didn't get it right, I'd probably end up with a mullet. Which suddenly, scarily enough, doesn't seem so bad. Have I been here too long? Probably. But here's a funny thing that happened. The very kind gentleman who washed my hair also gave me a head massage in the process. A delicious, fifteen minute squish that left me so relaxed they could have shaved my head and I wouldn't even have whimpered in protest. And as he wrapped my towel on my head, he explained that my preferential treatment was due to the fact that my eyes made him melt. "Do you understand the word melt?" he asked me. Of course, that was the one word I did understand, and to show him the breadth of my knowledge, I started to define melt for him. What I meant to say was "yeah, it's when you heat up something and . . ." What I said, and in fairness to me it's such a small leap in Spanish, was "yeah, it's when you get all horny and . . . " Nice one Fiona. The sweet-talking gent was slightly taken aback at my graphic interpretation, and I was mortified. "Yeah, you're telling me that my eyes are so gorgeous, you want to jump my bones." Ahem. As soon as I saw his expression, I cringed, knowing that I'd made it sound like I thought he was saying what he obviously wasn't saying, or at least not explicitly, and mortified that, having teased and toed the line so expertly, I had suddenly, inadvertently lept right over it and landed myself practically in his lap. I was even too mortified to leave a tip, after all my hot talk. And I walked out there with big hair and a heavy heart, knowing that it'll be years, long light years, before I'll be easy enough with the language and the culture to be able to banter with the boys and come out with a decent haircut.