Posted by: Shanna Germain | 06/17/2009

Pg. 78: Stormy City


  • Weather: Bloody storming!
  • Mileage: Busted my butt walking around Glasgow. In the rain. With a heavy backpack. Does that count for anything?
  • Discovery: There are some parts of Glasgow that a girl should not be walking around by herself. Thank goodness I had my umbrella to protect me!
  • Media: Listening to Emerald City Blues in preparation for a Wizard of Oz horror story I’m working on. Creepy, in that good kind of way.
  • Worst Thing: Waves. on. ferry. I’ve never been seasick in my life. I was feeling the upheaval, to say that least.
  • Best Thing: I got a hair cut! And a good one! -does the white-girl song and dance routine, which is basically shaking her booty until she trips and falls on the floor-
  • Quote of the Day: “Just don’t barf near the seagulls. I know from experience. They’ll never leave you alone.” Ew.
  • Word of the Day: Neb. Nose. But, I think, mostly used in, “Get yer neb outmah business.” Not as the actual body part.


Off the wild isle into the big city today. I forget how nice it is to have everthing at your fingertips. I got good coffee (woot!), browsed the book stores, stocked up at the health food stores, got a Mac-designated version of the Sims 3 (since I can’t play anything here that actually requires Internet), window shopped and ogled, and had lunch out, which was a serious treat.

But, more importantly, I got a hair cut! I haven’t had my hair cut since… mhn… February. See, I’ve had the same hairdresser for, I don’t know, five years, maybe? And I love, love, love her. (Segue: If you live in Portland, and need a hair person, check out Kristin Burell at Plaform Salon. Not hoity-toity, super funny and down to earth, and she does a fab job on my hair). Also, she understands that I mean it when I say, “I’m not going to do anything with it. I’m going to put it up in a bun and let it dry and then I’m going to take said bun out. That’s it.” She gets it, and somehow makes my hair look like I’ve done all kinds of fun things to it that I don’t actually know how to do (such as use a hair dryer).

So, needless to say, I was a little nervous about having someone else do the do. But it was nearly down to my ass (this sounds like fun, but in real life, it’s not such a good thing, since it weighs about six tons and starts to get all scraggly and snarly, especially in a wind-blow isle).

So, I did a little research and found Anton Steele. Okay, it looks hoity from the website, doesn’t it? But the reviews were good, so off I went after my shopping excursion to get my hair snipped. Except… it wasn’t that easy. Google map let me down in a serious way, leading me down some alley that was full of mud puddles and broken bottles and a dead-end. It was like something out of a bad horror movie. To which I ‘eeped’ a bit, and then dug out my cell phone to call the UK version of 411. Only to get someone who couldn’t understand me, nor I her. (You think it’s bad understanding a Scottish accent, try standing in the middle of a city with rain whipping around you and trying to get directions on a cell phone. Uh-huh). She was very polite, and I was feeling rather stupid. And, having arrived, finally in the correct alley this time, I said “Thank you very much, I’ll be there soon,” and hung up.

And promptly got lost again. There was no sign for anything along the lines of a hair place anywhere in the scary, broken-down, dead-end alley vicinity. So I had to call the poor girl back, admit that I was a wing-nub, and get better directions. Which essentially were (in an accent that I can’t even begin to type), “Where are you? Okay you’re close. Walk around that little u-shaped nub where there’s a place called SomethingICan’tUnderstand and do you see the waystile ( ? I have no idea if this is what she said, and I don’t know what it is, but I said yes anyway), and now there’s a store called SomethingElseOrNot and if you go through it…. No, don’t go through it, they might yell, go around there’s this other alley, with a gate and a door and there’s a lab. Not an actual lab, but a place called the lab that serves cocktails and the like and if you walk through their patio, we’re on the first floor.”

Of course. I can’t imagine why I couldn’t find it the first time. Of course, when I did find it, I realized it was less than half a block from the bookstore I’d originally been browsing in, and Google had sent me half-way around the city only to come back it.

But I got a hair cut, and a good one, from Martin, who looked like he wanted to gobble me up when I pulled my hair from its bun and apologized for the length. He spent a good part of twenty minutes just shaking my hair out until I looked like a bed-head rockstar, and then sent me off for a shampoo by the same poor girl who’d given me directions. Twice.

My hair is now properly taken care of, I’m currently riding back on a ferry (which, thankfully, is much less bumpy that it was on the way out), and although I’m a bit tired — the Lymes seems to think I’m not allowed more than three hours of excitement at any given time — I’m feeling jubilant. And sexy, since Martin did this thing with a blow dryer and a big brush that made my hair look like it was about a hundred feet high and full of flapper-girl curls. Ooh, la, la, that’s all I have to say about that.

Far and fast (and often lost), s.


“It was a blonde.  A blonde to make a bishop kick a hole in a stained-glass window.”  ~Raymond Chandler



  1. Hmmm, I do believe that the rest of your faithful followers would agree with me when I say that it is most unfair to talk about your sexy new do and not provide pics.

    And while I don’t have personal “Lost in a Foreign Land” stories (Since the last time I got to travel to another country I was 11). I do remember the hilarity of watching my father try to navigate through Hong Kong to the restaurant he picked out. Spent 2 hours wandering around as he refused to ask directions from anyone, cause he still claimed he knew the way. I think we ended up eating at McDonalds when he finally gave up.

    • Ha! Pictures to come, I promise!

      And, ohm… Mickey-Dee’s scares me in the States. I can’t imagine it in Hong Kong.

  2. I love that Raymond Chandler quote. I’m off to church!!

    • Ha! Oddly enough, The Cathedral is one of my fave stories by him. He’s so so good.

  3. Your directions made me laugh out loud. Reminded me of sitting in front of my dad and a stranger on a bus in London, and listening as the stranger patiently explained the rules of Cricket to my father.

    Glad you found your Martin!

    • Thanks, Alison! Oh, gods, cricket confuses me to this day. I -still- don’t get it…

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