To lock or not to lock…


I am still in search of someone who can maintain my locks. I thought to be lucky a week and a bit ago when I saw a woman in San Stefano mall whose hairstyle made me wonder if she knew someone who could do my hair. I asked her, first in Arabic which she didn’t seem to follow so I asked if she spoke English or French. She happened to be Nigerian and had been living in Cairo for two years. She would be staying in Alex for two weeks for no particular reason and it was not exactly clear what she was doing in Cairo. She said her sister, who is living in Cairo could do my hair. I got horribly excited on the prospect of having my hair done because it had been a month since I had seen my hairstylist last and I sure miss her. This woman in the mall who goes by the name of DeeDee gave me her brother’s number. She told me to call him and he would then contact their sister. I called him the same evening and told him I would like to come on Friday. We arranged a time and I bought a ticket to Cairo after he consulted his sister. DeeDee’s brother called me several times for no apparent reason before that Friday and even asked if I had a camera phone so he would know what I would look like. I didn’t know mobile phones with which you can talk and at the same time see the person you’re talking to where that widespread, especially in Africa. I had never seen one and don’t know anyone who has one. I think I am the only dark fairy with locks in North Africa so it is very unlikely that he wouldn’t recognize me. DeeDee called me on Thursday eve to ask if I was all set to go. There was no need for her to call but I am very glad she did. She asked me if I would be alright with her brother and I said half jokingly that that depended if her brother is a good boy. She said that that was the problem. When I sounded a bit worried she quickly said that it would all be fine. Then she slipped that her sister had never maintained locks before. When I then sounded rather more worried she told me not to worry, that she would make it nice and neat for me. I asked her if I could get her sister’s number so I could call her directly to talk about it. DeeDee said that there would be no need for that and that it would be absolutely fine. Now, I would be going all the way to Cairo to have my hair done. That means paying for the train, paying for a taxi to get to DeeDee’s sister’s house, paying DeeDee’s sister and paying for some food, I mean, a fairy’s got to eat. Meeting a strange man who might have ulterior motives…If this woman has never done it before let me spare myself the hassle and do it myself. So I decided not to go and do it myself. The result was not bad for a very first attempt, but I sure miss my hairstylist…

A few days later our landlord, who I had told about my wish to find someone who could do my hair, said he had found someone here in Alexandria who might be able to do so. He saw a dark fairy woman with funky hair on the street and asked her if she knew someone who could do dark fairy hair. She told my landlord that her daughter could do it and gave him her husband‘s phone number. My landlord gave this number to me so I could call him. I was to arrange a time and date with him and he then would call his daughter to see if she would agree to it. This dark fairy from the Lowlands finds all this African indirectness very peculiar, but so be it and a time and date was arranged. My landlord escorted me to the house of the young lady’s father in the lively neighbourhood of Ibrahimiya a few tram stops away. Now, this dark fairy has been to a few places. She travelled the world North, East, West and South, has seen fairies and non-fairies of all sorts, creeds and classes. To witness poverty from the outside is one thing. To be invited to poverty’s house is another. When we got to the address provided we waited outside until the father of the young lady met us downstairs and escorted us up to his flat. It was a rundown building of which there are many in this city. The flat was on the sixth floor or so with no lift. The flat we entered was tiny. Two rooms and a kitchen. My landlord and I were requested to sit on one of the two sofas, which were the only pieces of furniture in the room. The family was ‘hiding’ in the second room which only contained a bed and I heard the sound of a television. There were at least seven people of which four or five children in that tiny room. I wondered where they all slept. How they were fed. Would the kids have any toys? Would the older one go to school? After 10 minutes or so the young lady who was supposed to do my hair entered the tiny flat with yet more children. Her English was good so we mainly spoke English. To cut a long story short, she couldn’t do my hair. Having locks is not a popular hairstyle in the Motherland and no one seems to be able to maintain them. It looks like I really have to do it myself. Yet another skill to develop.


About Lemba

Non-conformist Writing Soul and Language Geek from the Lowlands with a South London accent, currently living a nomadic, location- independent lifestyle. While executing the Big Fat Writing Plan I’m invading cyberspace with my views on 'expat living', travel and other lifestyle choices, current affairs and other randomness. Welcome to the Dark Fairy Zone.

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