The International Quest for the Best Haircut

American Adventures, Edinburgh Expeditions, Florentine Scribblings

I have short hair.

As it, I couldn’t dream of pulling it back in a pony. A pixie cut, with long fringe (Anne Hathaway stole my hair cut. And I wear it better).

Which is great. I love having short hair, it sets me apart (especially in the US). It’s stylish, different and far more ‘me.’ However, having short hair means that I can’t fall into the ‘I can get a hair cut anywhere’ camp. Too boxy a cut and I look like a soccer mom. Too short, and it just looks awful (as anyone who has seen my undergraduate graduation day photos can attest to. My hairdresser thought that ‘can you fix my fringe’ meant ‘cut them away completely’).

In my various stints as a temporary expat, I’ve found the need to get a good haircut. And when you are completely unfamiliar with an area (and in some cases, with the language) you need recommendations.

My first international hair cut was courtesy of an Italian man named Fabio. He spoke enough English to cut hair, and I knew enough Italian to end up with something cool. There was, of course, a little bit of confusion.

“Can I have something cute? Feminine? But short,” I said (in Italian).

Fabio looked at me, confused. “But Italian men like women with long hair.”

“But I prefer having short hair.”

Bear in mind that at this point, my hair was just below my chin and rather shapeless. There was no way that I was going to have long, flowing tresses without years of growing my hair, or expensive extensions.

Fabio blinked. “So, you want…sex appeal for women?”

Si,” I replied, not processing that he had just asked if I wanted to appeal to women. Fabio’s inquiries into my alleged preferences didn’t matter, and I ended up with the best hair cut I had had to that date.

The result? A cool, choppy, assymetric look. I was hooked. And had to go over two years without something similar.

The next awesome international haircut I got was in Edinburgh. I had been to another salon and just wasn’t happy with the look (it grew out into a bob, which just doesn’t suit me), so I went to Hot Head salon. A lovely pink-haired Scottish lady named Sabrina cut my hair–and it was awesome. She consistently did a great job (particularly when I switched to my current ‘do, a Frankie Saturday inspired Pixie cut). I joked that I would have to return to Scotland every six weeks so I could get my hair cut.

Sadly, trips to Scotland every 6 weeks are not doable at this stage of my life, so I had to find a new hair salon. A tentative call to a new salon yielded a same-day haircut, with a lady named Jackie.

As soon as I stepped into the salon and saw her purple hair, I knew we’d get on well. Result? I guess I don’t need to go abroad for one of the best hair cuts I’ve had.

A Far Off Places Update

American Adventures

Oh dear, another month gone and I’ve not made any posts!

Life’s been very busy here. Job applications, interviews, working part time, and my current project of Far Off Places. I’m doing layout for the magazine, which is really exciting. It is very time-intensive, but coming along nicely.

We’ll be officially launching the magazine on 9 March at the STAnza poetry festival in St Andrews. Which means that I’m finishing up the magazine, and some individual pamphlets. It’s a lot to be doing, but a lot of fun.

Also really good for refreshing me! Placing things in InDesign is actually really calming.

I’ll have a link here when the magazine does go live.

Also! We’re now accepting submissions for Issue II! Theme is ‘the back of beyond.’ We’re accepting subs through 31 March (of the written variety, but I’ll also accept sandwiches and yellow submarines).

Welcome back to America

American Adventures

Well. I’ve been back in America for a week, settled back in my childhood home. My room, clean for over a year as I lived overseas, is now stacked with books, shopping bags, and the contents of my backpack vomited over the floor.

It’s not been a bad week, by any means. It’s been busy. I now have an insanely professional wardrobe, including a gorgeous navy pinstripe pencil skirt suit, a blue dress the same colour as the Scottish flag (or the TARDIS) and fantastic heels. I’ve applied for several jobs, had one interview (which didn’t end with me getting the job, but that’s okay, it was my first interview Stateside. I’m lucky and rather awesome, but not THAT lucky).

I also have a brand-spankin’ new mobile, a smartphone, which means I’ve finally entered the 21st century. Also I can now tweet from where-ever I am in the US, which is both really awesome and really dangerous.

I still haven’t managed to read much. I got halfway through Life of Pi whilst on the various planes from Edinburgh to Boston, but since returning I’ve been using my tablet for Skyping with those still in Scotland and watching the first series of Downton Abbey instead of reading. Oops, bad former English major.

Looking ahead to 2013…

American Adventures

I celebrated the end of 2012 and 2013’s beginning in my beloved Edinburgh with some of my closest friends. While a stack of dishes awaits me, I’m taking a moment to look at what lies ahead.

I’m making another international move and returning to the States. I wasn’t able to find a job that would sponsor me for a visa, so I’ve decided to return to the States when my student visa expires. I don’t know where life is going to take me, but with hope my roads will lead me back to Edinburgh. I’ve had an amazing, painful, life-changing time in the UK, and while I wish I could stay, it’s time for me to return to my native land.

I hope to return to Boston, where I lived as an undergraduate. I haven’t enjoyed all that Boston has to offer, and will get involved with the swing dancing community there.

In March we’ll be releasing the first issue of Far Off Places, the online literary magazine I started with three friends while living in Edinburgh. The beauty of it being online and organised through Google docs means that we can continue to work on the magazine while on separate continents.

I hope to take up blues dancing while living in Boston. I’ve heard that it’s the place to learn traditional blues in the US, and I’ve found that there’s nothing like dancing to keep me in a good mood. Blues complements lindy hop excellently, especially as some of the events I’ve attended have had blues after parties.

I will explore. I want to see more of the US (Seattle, New Orleans and San Francisco). I want to read. I want to learn.

Here’s to 2013, may it be a good year. It will be a difficult year, as I continue to navigate adulthood and try to settle in one location yet again. But it will, undoubtably, be a good’un, filled with friends both that I know and have yet to meet, pratfalls and maybe a few scavenger hunts through Boston.

Far Off Places

Edinburgh Expeditions

What happens when you combine four friends, sunshine and rain on Charlotte Square, and poetry quaffed like wine?

Clearly, you found a literary magazine.

After much debate and deliberation over names, mission and what sort of magazine we would found, we launched the website last week, opened our email to submissions, and wait for them to come pouring in. We’ve had several so far, which we are ecstatic about!

Far Off Places is the name of our whimsical collection of writing and illustrations, which we’re hoping to launch in March (provided that we have enough submissions). The theme of our first issue is Fairy Tales Retold.

Curious? Check out our website or leave a comment!

I’m very excited. I’m head of social media and art director, so that means I’m laying out the magazine as well as maintaining the Facebook page and Twitter account. The Facebook page is a little dull at the moment, but I’m going to be updating it more frequently soon.

Officially a Master of Science!

Edinburgh Expeditions

This Wednesday, I graduated from the University of Edinburgh. I’m now officially a Master of Science in Design and Digital Media, which means that I’m now signing everything with ‘MSc’ at the end of my name.

The ceremony took place inside McEwan Hall, one of the ancient buildings that forms part of the University’s main campus.

I looked like a wizard, dressed entirely in black, with a black robe. The only splash of colour was a green and white hood–I guess I’m a Slytherin? Pity, I always thought that I was a Ravenclaw (though my Gryffindor sister will say that the Slytherin is probably more accurate).

Anyways, Edinburgh has a really cool tradition. We get hit on the head with a cap made out of John Knox’s trousers and including a bit that has gone to space. It really beats the traditional handshake, and I think speeds things up a bit. Mum, being a medical professional, was concerned about spreading head lice.

It was a lovely day, a lovely ceremony, and a good opportunity to see my friends once again.

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