Friday, October 19, 2007

Hairy Events in Salzburg

And so it is written:
“The three horsewomen of the apocalypse shall arrive from the East. And they shall be called Nubber Rubber and Cannon Humper and Diversion Dancer. And they shall bring laughter and merriment. And they shall have a mission. And that mission shall be hair.”
“We’re booked” she’d written. It was Michelle, my friend from Mankato, and fellow alumni of Woody’s - formerly Rose Creek Liquor Store of Rose Creek, MN. This bar, home of pickled eggs, thirsty farmers, and the funniest barroom dialogue anywhere in the world, was the watering hole of our highschool and college years. A product of the area herself, she would be bringing her outrageous humor (she calls her upper arms “the lunch ladies”afterall) and our equally outrageous friends Maureen and Katie.

I was on the six hour train ride from Koblenz to Munich to meet them at the airport and I was excited. One of the toughest parts about being on this trip is missing your friends and the loneliness that is a product of not being able to talk with your neighbors, other than to say “good morning, good afternoon, and another beer please” which seems to be met with confused stares by your neighbors.

Seeing their bright, shiny faces as they came out of the arrivals area brought it all home. WOW I’d missed my friends. And being involved in funny conversation, wrought with nuance and entandre, I’d missed that the most.

We took the train to Salzburg, Austria that night, four American women swilling warm German beer from the bottle, telling funny stories and laughing – loudly. I made excuses for my appearance. No haircut or color since the end of July, clothes are all wash and wear and had been washed MANY times. They told me I looked great – as friends do- and we were off.

Michelle had made all of the hotel arrangements and we stayed at a very cool hotel, Blau Gans, in the middle of the shopping district in Salzburg. We checked in and went to the restaurant at the Modern Art Gallery, with incredible food and lovely views of the city. My comrades were tired from their long trip and so after a few Proseccos and some Schnapps to cap off the evening we went back to the hotel.

I can’t tell you how wonderful it was to be in a hotel room by myself. After 4 months of sharing everything with Mike and the kids, from beds to dishes, to shower time. I had an entire hotel room to myself. I luxuriated in every square inch of that place, using BOTH sides of the bed, taking a LONG, hot shower, and watching ANY channel I wanted on the television.

The next day we did a tour called the “Sound of Music Tour” which included several stops as places used in the filming of the movie. Maureen, the resident musical expert knew the answers to all of the trivia questions. She was slightly disappointed (I surmise) that the tour didn’t end in a bus-wide sing-along. The rest of us weren’t.

The scenery was beautiful though and we had a great day chatting, posing for pictures (see “nubber rubber” and “Maureen as roadkill” in the picture gallery) and eating strudel. The next day we toured Salzburg, shopped, and went to a Mozart concert at the Salzburg castle. The concert was lovely though the Austrians are not particularly used to having statues of their kings called “dude” and seemed to take offense. Of course it might also have been the “cannon humper” incident. How is one to tell?

But the best was yet to come. After dinner and a quick visit back to the hotel we went to a local bar called “Maestro”. There we met Georg. Georg is an Austrian man, sort of a cross between Dudley Moore and Richard Gere. Georg was sweet, drunk and outstandingly offended by my hair.

It was an emergency he said. He must do something about it immediately. So we followed him two doors down to his salon and at 1:00 am I got a haircut. Georg was swaying slightly, assessing my overgrown, dried-out locks with one eye closed, and kissing his scissors between each snip.

We got to play beauty salon, giving each other a shampoo and head massage, using the latest conditioning treatment and styling tools. None of us were particularly fit to assess if he had done a good job on my head, but it was an incredibly fun time. Just as we were nearing the end of out beauty treatment, a very young man arrived totting 3 bottles of Champagne. He said he was Georg’s apprentice and we welcomed him gratefully. Just as the Champagne was running out this young man decided to ask us for money for the services we received. It was then that “diversion dancer” leapt to the rescue and began a seductive dance, luring the boy’s attention from us all. She herded us to the front door and said “Now! Run!” and we obediently followed.

The next morning came earlier than I had hoped, though I woke up giggling at our silly, teenage-esque shenanigans. I missed breakfast that morning, opting for some extra sleep and a prayer to the porcelain gods. Michelle, however was there. Not so bright eyed, not so bushy tailed, but entering the dining room in her jammies, face creased from the pillow and shouting “where’s the bacon?” as she scanned the room like a body guard looking for a hitman.

“How’s the hair” was the first question that Maureen whispered through my half-opened hotel room door.

“Better than the hangover” was my raspy reply.

And Georg? We never saw him again.


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