Monday, April 13, 2009
Photos of the Week
I have been waiting for months to capture this fairly common site around Doha. I have talked about this before, but never shown pictures: Yes, you read correctly. Many, way too many of the beauty salons here call themselves "beauty salOOns." I think it is a mistake that just keeps perpetuating itself, because one salon owner (who is obviously not a native English speaker) just copies the mistake from someone who copied it from someone else. It is hilarious, too, that this has injected a wild west flavor into a very eastern society. A woman told me that when she told the owners at her salon about the mistake, they were very embarrassed and changed it as soon as possible. Here you can see images of the Diamond Beauty Saloon that is in the nice, newer part of Doha.
Another funny fact about the salons here is that they have big walls around the establishments and men are not allowed to enter. They actually keep the doors locked. I had to ring a door bell when I went for my hair appointment and wait for the receptionist to let me in. Maybe they have had problems with men storming the salons and demanding equal services, who knows. Really, I think it has to do with Mulim women's ideas of modesty. At my hair appointment I saw a beautiful woman getting her hair done, then she went into the powder room and proceeded to cover herself up with her abaya and shayla. It made me wonder why she had just spent all that money and time. But you know, some days I really wish I had a shayla to hide under!
So back to the "saloon" label. The irony here is that Qatar is a Muslim country. Any kind of spirited beverage is taboo for followers of Islam. So I guess these are the covert operations going on right under the noses of the authorities. The government thinks that ladies are going to these establishments to get beautified, but in reality, they are partaking in the one stop shopping experience: a little color, a little cut, a little cocktail. Who wouldn't be happy with their new style and the bill after that?! All I can say is, after my one and only experience with a salon here, I really could have used a stiff drink.