I got my first hair cut in Budapest. My boss’s wife suggested the place where my boss gets his hair cut. She said they speak English there, and it’s near the office. She even recommended my boss’s specific stylist: Zsolt. Her word for him: precise.
Now Zsolt might be a normal Hungarian name, but as a newbie, it still conjured pictures of someone who thinks he knows more about what I should do with my hair than me. I hate to admit it, but it’s true. And as a redhead, I will tell you, I am very particular about who does what to my hair…especially because my hair has never been permed, colored, or treated with any chemicals. And I don’t do products.
Sure enough, I walked into the salon and felt out of place immediately. This is where the beautiful people get their hair cut. I felt too…normal. No one has ever accused me of being trendy or hip, and this place was exactly that. It was a bit weird knowing that my boss gets his hair cut there too. He’s a workaholic German; it didn’t add up. But, then again, Germans like precision (yes, a stereotype, but think about German engineering), and it was convenient to the office.
I checked in and was told that Zsolt was running behind, so I should sit down. The greeter gestured to Zsolt, and from what I could see, running behind was being generous. I was offered a beverage (but not wine, bummer) and sat for a few minutes. Soon Zsolt came back to update me.
He apologized and said that he was running way behind because he didn’t expect all that his current appointment involved. I appreciated his concern and customer service (as I mentioned in an earlier blog, not something you get everywhere in Hungary) and the fact that he offered three solutions: wait 45 minutes (no thanks), reschedule, or go with another stylist who he recommended. Having no allegiance and needing a hair cut badly, I went with door number three.
My new stylist didn’t know much English, but Zsolt stuck around for the consultation and explained to her in Hungarian all that we discussed. He had proposed less off in the back than I originally suggested, but I decided it was better to go with a more conservative estimate for the first cut.
During the shampoo and conditioner, my seat not only reclined, but also pulsated slowly. There were stares from the others sitting around (normal for the culture) and conversations I couldn’t understand. I decided to not worry about it and focus on the treatment. After that, we went to her station, and the cut began. I vacillated between asking for more taken off in the back and just relaxing. One thing I’ve already learned from this whole Budapest experience is you need to go with the flow. So I finally relaxed and let go.
I’m glad I did. In the end, the cut was great. My stylist was precise too. She took her time and really focused on getting it right. I love the cut and the style. And I also like this going with the flow.