Monday, June 20, 2011

One Day Nail Salon

"Choose color" reception shouting, and I walked quickly toward the wall of bottles of nail polish on the neck. There must be dozens, matte or gloss paint, in shades from white to pink and red to brown and black. I take a bottle of natural pink manicure and remain at his post.

This is my first time at the salon, and although I have sixty will be my first manicure. I chose this show over a dozen like him near my house, all the small strip centers, all run by Vietnamese immigrants.

Trade is reserved in this rainy afternoon Saturday, and employees to talk out loud to each other in a foreign language. Foreign to me, that is. A young woman filing nails, smiling at me and tells me that I chose a beautiful yellow leather. "Enough", he nods his head next to the bottle in our hands.

She laughs and pulls a few words I do not understand the male manicure at the next station. Workers who speak and laugh here are all Asians. Female clients are all white, like my friend does not come here anymore.

Nail Salon 2.jpg "No speak English very well," he said.

"What language do they speak?" I ask my manicure.

"Vietnam," he says sheepishly and files industriously ragged at the edges of my nails. "Go out tonight?"

We have a little discussion about my future tonight, but it is difficult, and so we finally shrug and a smile instead.

Other customers set a small TV mounted high in a corner, or browse through the magazines People. None of them did not speak to employees. I think not. Still uncomfortable, try again.

"You live nearby?" I ask that my clips girl with small cuticle scissors. A frown line appearing between her eyebrows. Without looking up from his work, the names of a small town a few kilometers.

"Is there a good Vietnamese restaurant here?" I ask. "I love Vietnamese food."

He shakes his head and place my hand on a glass bowl of soapy water.

Stupid reprimand. It may not be able to afford to eat. Their families are more likely to work in restaurants to eat them.

I feel uncomfortable in my seat. My nails are formed, I pay for the service, but I feel I need to do more. Plus the ladies blondes suburbs around us, who know the staff room, turning the pages of their magazines and pop their gum.

After all, I am the grandson of immigrants. My grandparents came here from Poland in the twentieth century. They do not speak English and waited for hours at a station before anyone welcomed them and helped them find a job in a broom factory in the city that has become my hometown. His courage has given me the life I have today, and a comfortable life secure and happy.

I do not work with my hands, and I am here today is for spoiled by an immigrant. Maybe that's what worries me.

At the reception, chairs a golden statue of fresh oranges and fat red candles in glass holders. Shiny red flag with gold embossing decorate the walls, but I'm the only one here who watch these things.

I'm not like those other white ladies, I mean the woman who takes my hand. I understand their struggle. I want you to succeed. But this time I'm quiet.

"Wash your hands," my orders sharp manicure, steps to the sink in the back of the room. Feeling conspicuous, I do as she says. I feel like a sign that covers my forehead. "Newbie "we read:" I do not know what to do. " When I come back around, nobody looks at me.

"Pay first," the woman said, when I'm back in office. I groped for the bills in my wallet, not ready, and nervously over-tip. It polishes the nails with an accuracy of SWIFT, two layers of "Innocence", then a clear coat top. She walks in my chair, lift my wallet and took me dryer. I do not know how it works. I feel embarrassed because I need to show how to put my hands under the dryer. She pressed the button to start the fan.

"Have a nice day," she said, waving. "Bye, bye!"

Wait, I mean. I worry about your life.

"You too," I say weakly. When the dryer stops, I can go to the door where I read back from the inside, the words "Walk to welcome him."

My nails polished reflect light like opening the door and walk to my car in the rain.

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