A small shop that offers kindness to the local residents, translated…
Since my mother became demented, and couldn’t go out on her own, every couple of months, I’d taken her to the salon she used to get her trimmed to get her a perm.
In the old communities of Taipei, there are almost NO more of the traditional salons like “Shu-Li Hair Salon”. For over two decades, the shop only had two workers—the owner in charge of haircuts, perms, and hair designs, the owner’s husband, washing the hair of customers, cleaning up the floors, along with other odds and ends.
Shu-Li Salon is dark inside, only had a couple of lamp fixtures from years ago, and, the two seats out of the five available were stacked up with things that couldn’t be sat in. There is NO sign outside, only the dark-red stickers posted by the windows, and, there was, the potted plants to the left and right. The sign of the salon was between the stylish, newer signs of the restaurant and café, it’s, easily missed by the pedestrians; even if someone took notice, nobody would have the courage, to enter and try getting a haircut here.
And still, the days at the Shu-Li Salon is NEVER lacking. Sometimes, all three seats are already, filled, and with some customers, standing to the sides, waiting. Because of the fair prices, the owner’s amazing skills, a lot of the elderly women who lived nearby are all customers, and even if they’d moved away, they’d still headed back here, to get their haircuts. As the customers came in, the boss would wash their hair, then, send them to the seats, for his wife to cut or to perm the customers’ hair.
My mom is one of the regulars too, and, in these past two decades, every three or four months, she’d returned. Twenty years flew by, and, the customers are all older now, the shop older too, and, my beautiful mother became, demented. I’d understood how much my mother cared about the way she’d looked, so, I’d taken her now.
As we pushed through the door, the owner quickly greeted my mother, at her regular seat. The wife of the owner pulled me to the side, whispered, that my mother’s hair doesn’t curl up easily, she will use a sort of a fast-acting curling solution, so she won’t have to sit for too long. The owner told me, that after my mother gets her hair done, he will take her own, and open the doors, to see her into the house, that I can go do what I needed to do. I felt very grateful, even though I’d not said anything, they could be so kind, and thought on my behalf. I’d paid the fees, and, thanked them again, then left.
As I pushed opened the door to the salon, a foreign nurse’s aide pushed an elderly woman on a wheelchair in. The owner immediately came outside to welcome her, carried the elderly to the wash station.
The last time I’d taken my mother to Shu-Li Salon, the owner’s wife was on the phones, “Do you want us to pick her up? You will take her here? Afternoon is fine, do you need us to give her a lift after her hair is done?”, and, the Shu-Li Salon is still operating quite well, all because their regular customers had all aged, and, their services became more fitted to the needs of their customers.
An old salon, it’d looked after the beauties, the looks of many elderly women, it’d maintained their dignities of life, along with how much they loved their own lives. All of a sudden, I’d felt, that this salon is very important in its existence, as you walk pass it, do pay it, the amount of respects it rightfully earned.
So, this, is a heartwarming story, of a neighborhood small salon, because the owners cherished their clients, and, as the clients get older, they’d gone over and beyond the call of what was required, they’d become helpful to the people whose elderly loved ones went to get their hair done, and, if there’s a small shop like this (doesn’t necessarily need to be a salon!) in every neighborhood, then, the world would be, a much better place!
something that looks like this from the outside…not my art.