Camels, the Pantaloni & the Haircut

Not because of the hump on my back or because of mia pancia (…eating cheese? me? No…)

But because the world is turning from Black to Grigio and although there are coated and shiny jeans everywhere, there are also cropped pants in tweed, in subtle
stripes, swinging with movement or not , swish, swish, with derby shoes, with low boots….Doc Martin-style, red wing American boots or something sleeker and black.

The streets are awash with COATS…caramel, with caramello…with camel…over these lovely pantaloni, over shiny or leather black jeans.

A camelly and carmelly world!

And turtlenecks. Always turtlenecks these days. That they would return to style? Chi è saputo? Who knew?

Even I have indulged. I have new black derby shoes with small pearl studs in a line around the low, sturdy heel. And a wrap coat to enclose myself from winter chill …of course worn with grey wool turtleneck….here spelled as “tourtleneck”…or misspelled, as it were.

At the Friday and Saturday morning street markets, among the new strawberries and oranges shipped up from Sicilia, you can round the corner and find cashmere turtlenecks, used with holes or sold new in bags for incredibly low prices…for what they are.    I was advised to “stock up”.

This week was the week that wide, high-waisted pants entered my wardrobe (thank you Winter Sales/Saldi) — and this was also the week that I got my haircut.

My Taglio.

I was terrified, actually, to get a cut.  What if my Italian is not good enough to describe that I want my hair “ai strati”, in layers…or that I want “le frangie’ — bangs.  Of course I did what every self-respecting foreigner would do in my situation:  I sent my kids in ahead of me.   Yes, it’s true.  S wanted a cut so I sent them with their sister in and they came back and reported that they loved the place and that I probably would as well.

So, heart beating fast…I arrived at Les Garçons de la Rue, near the Naviglio Pavese.   I was recommended to see Mauro.    How do you want your hair?…he asked?   “Ai Strati,” I responded.  “Vorrei le frangie”…I would like bangs, I said.   He responded that he would give me some.   What length, he asked?

Scegli per me”, I say.

“You choose for me”.

And so, he said, his hand on the back of my chair…”Ai piedi”….”Stand”.

I stood.

With me standing, he walked around me, beginning to cut my hair.  Adjusting the length, cutting around the bottom.   Now, he indicated, returning the chair to me…I was to sit.

He began to cut the layers in…adjusting my bangs, pulling and cutting, pulling and cutting…suddenly…”ai piedi”.

The chair was gone, I was on my feet again.

I could tell almost immediately that he was brilliant.  Everything was amazing.

I felt ridiculous for being so frightened.   And then there was a bit of color.

Hey, ‘Non mi giudicate’….don’t judge.

With my camel wrap.  My derby shoes and my new hair…Mauro said to me in English…’you are so cute’.

Yes, I was thinking…I guess I am.

But I said…”no, not me…you guys…you are cute”.

I cannot wait to go back.



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