My toenails sport a glittery blue paint job today. Thanks to bidding on a door prize at Project Row Houses in Houston, I won a gift card from an upscale salon in Houston called The Upper Hand. Just a pedicure today because it lasts so much longer than a manicure. With this card I may be able to pay for 2 more. Sweet!
The building is old. I suspect it has been used for a variety of businesses. Its brick walls (interior and exterior) have original archways through which I can watch the ladies and gentlemen get their hair or nails done. The ceiling is now of varnished wood in an overarching shape. Art from a local high school adorns the walls. It’s comfortably old; nicely remodeled.
I wonder how the stylists walk in those shoes: lovely spiked heels, I mean, with interesting straps and designs. The latest in fashion goes by as on a runway before me. It is a world I seldom enter. Meanwhile, Fibi treats me to a foot bath and conversation. She is married to a U.S. citizen and gets to go back to Iran every 2-3 years to visit her family of origin. Whether in Iran or the U.S. she is treated somewhat as an outsider who doesn’t really belong. Only within her immediate family does she feel at home.
She brightened upon hearing that my son lives in Japan (over 10 years now) and married a woman from Taiwan. She was curious about why he went there. As it happens, her cousin went to China four years ago and has loved it.
If you haven’t lived abroad perhaps you can remember moving to a new neighborhood where you need to find a grocery store, a bank, a school, and a doctor you like. I got lost coming to work for the first week I lived here! I do still get lost outside my usual circuit. Everything was new in my neighborhood but at least I knew the language! I never feel at home in a new place until I take a trip somewhere. Coming back, it starts to feel more like home.
Curious, isn’t it, why people go to different parts of the world? An adventure, a romance, or a job may pull you away. A graduation, a deadline, or an accident may push you along. It’s different for each of us but it requires a similar leave-taking, transition. re-entry, and resettlement.
The move doesn’t even need to be physical! You can stay in one place your whole life and still you can make big changes. What changes will you make this year?