et le temps perdu…

Dear Diary

So much has happened since I last made an entry!  How time flies. But I won’t bore you with my travel tales, car breakdowns and unmentionable infestations…

I want to talk about watching TV in my local beauty salon.

I’ve been going there ever since I arrived in Rwanda.  It’s easy for a girl to let herself go and I have certainly joined in with the greasy hair/no make-up/sandal look which, when combined with that cute vintage style dress which looked so stylish back home, now makes you look more like a campaigner for the Republican party in the US of A.

All these sloth-like behaviours are forgivable.  What cannot be forgiven is to let your feet go and to develop elephant foot! Yeuch!

Given the fact that it is kinda always summer here (smiley face) and there are no baths to languish in, elephant foot can set in pretty quickly in you’re not on top of your game.


That’s where the Umubano hotel’s beauty salon comes in. For four English pounds, you get to have your feet soaked, scrubbed, sand-papered, massaged and (if you have been a very bad girl/boy and let things to get out of hand) cheese-grated! You know who you are.  Bridget.

You can then walk out with the prettiest, baby-soft little digits all painted happy colours. This lasts around four days before the rot starts to set in again…

But I haven’t even told you the best bit; the salon is always packed with (mainly) women and men being buffed and preened and it’s just great to sit and gawp at everyone (who is also gawping back at you). Women are always having wonderful things done with their hair with the occasional shriek from a hot iron being applied a little too enthusiastically.  And if you’re really lucky, you get to witness a bit of a falling out over the result of a haircut.

Whilst all this is going on and I have no idea what words people are using, it still feels a bit like we’re all together. In the salon.  And we all witness (and hope for dramatic) events together.

There’s a kind of silent war between the male hair stylists and the female elephant foot removalists.  The men occupy the rear of the salon and always have the football on the telly. Any football.  At all. They also seem to always have possession of the remote.

However, when the time comes for The Bold & the Beautiful to be on, one of the women strolls into the male domain and retrieves the remote with no resistance.  I wonder what must have gone before for this peaceful handover?

The Bold & the Beautiful is of course dubbed into French and is utterly utterly awful and therefore addictive to watch. Naturally.  Whilst I can’t speak French (obviasalement), I am lulled into it and my Kindle remains a revolving ink pot.

The foot goddesses moon into the mirrors behind their clients to watch B&B in the reflection and the room quietens down bar the odd snort of disgust from the hair men and the rasping sound of horny feet being filed…

Tonight, Bobby Ewing pitched up (I confess, I know little of this programme and have only seen it at the salon) and it was wonderful hearing his dulcet French tones “je suis perdu!”

On seeking a clip on Youtube this evening, I’ve discovered this TV show has been running since the Elizabethan times and the clip below has the same actors from all those years ago; before the Botox and hair dye (for the men) but I guess the Botox was a necessary requirement to dampen down those absurd facial gestures.