So for Christmas Day…
Well, the first thing my mom, my brother and I did that day was go to a hair salon/mini-spa. My brother had gotten his haircut at this place a few days earlier and he apparently didn’t get an infection, so off we went.
I got my hair cut, my brother got his ears cleaned (to cure his selective hearing I hoped), and my mom got her roots touched up.
The first interesting thing we noticed was there was no hairstylist present. There were only three women workers; two (one was the owner I think) did the regular hair and spa stuff, and the other was the shampoo girl. It turns out that there are two shops run by the same owner, and the hairstylists shuttle between the two shops when needed. That’s actually a really brilliant idea.
Anyway, so I waited and 5 minutes later, a guy hairstylist rode up on his moped, walked in, asked how I wanted my hair and started buzzing and cutting away! I was really impressed. I don’t expect there to be beauty colleges or wherever hairstylists go now to learn hairstyling skills, but this guy was fantastic and he was really nice too. (Later a grumpy, douchey customer came in, and the owner called a grumpy, douchey hairstylist to match.)
This was the procedure my brother had done:
I was really nervous watching it because this ear-cleaning procedure consisted of poking a bunch of a really long, sharp metal sticks down a person’s ear, and one slip or false move…eek.
My mom got her roots dyed:
I had to laugh because Revlon Colorsilk is the $3 haircolor that they sell at Walmart (I know from back in my hair-dyeing phase), and the brand that my mom has said she would never use because it’s cheap crap…. But when in Rome…or in this case, when in a Vietnamese salon where the best you can get is this, so you better shut the hell up or get out of the shop…
After my haircut was done, I was led into the shampoo room. Let me tell you, it was the most awesome experience. I’ve never been to a spa or mini-spa, but this shampoo woman, besides shampooing my hair, spent 20 minutes massaging my face with a gazillion cleansers and even put one of those cleansing masks on me. Although for a few minutes there I thought I was being waterboarded, the experience was amazing. Afterwards, my face never felt so soft and numb at the same time.
And all of this ended costing the three of us together $21 USD ($6 of it was in tips).
Then we got home, changed, and went to Christmas church.
Okay, so I didn’t actually take pictures inside the church during our mass because it’s kind of rude when you’re attending. But we later came back during during a different mass and I stood outside and made the most of my zoom lens:
Here is my mom in front of a painting of her one of her most favorite saints, St. Martin, who my sister named one of her sons after:
The outside was really pretty (not that I’m saying the inside was ugly or anything):
Look at how magical baby Jesus looks:
I made the offhand comment to my brother, “It’s interesting how the citizens here are so poor and starving, yet there are churches everywhere here that look like they’ve spared no expense,” which sparked a debate between him and I about whether churches are businesses. But I’m serious, this city is so poor, yet there’s four fancy, opulent churches within a 3-mile radius of our hotel.
Anyway, afterwards we went downtown because my brother wanted to do some shopping.
As I said before, there are a lot of stores that sell counterfeit clothes, like this fake Hollister Co. store:
And then there are some stores that are much classier and have their own labels:
…that mysteriously look a lot like American Eagle and Abercrombie & Fitch labels:
I felt like a sneaky spy getting these photos because as I said before, sales associates usually follow you around at every step.
And then we walked around downtown, then went home and went to bed. Oh and in between some of these activities we went out and ate but I didn’t take any pictures. Boo.