Short Haired Girl

September 3, 2011

Clockman - outside the fabric souk

I just remembered I was a short haired girl after months of grappling with the desalinated water and trying every conditioning treatment I could find.  It finally occurred to me that the answer was simple – cut it off!  So having sourced a decent hairdresser (it is seriously difficult in this town – in fact it’s easier to find a hooker) I did a ‘Roman Holiday’ and had all my tendrils severed and the result is such a relief – cool and easy and so much more ‘me’.

Poolside - fluffy head but you get the gist

Then I looked around and realised that 90% of the women I saw (who were not covered) had long hair.  The 10% were pretty much western ex-pats and I pondered that this is yet another freedom that I have – I can cut my hair – I don’t need to ask permission, I don’t have to worry about social stigma, I am in control of this and all aspects of my appearance – which I am not sure is the norm in this part of the globe.  It is, of course, mere speculation but as a feminist I like to look at what I see and what it means in practical terms for the lives of women around me.

Beach Club

The need for a coiffure solution had become more apparent as I have finally found an aquatic solution to my presence here.  I live on a peninsula surrounded by sea with months of 40+.  I had been finding it frustrating that:
a. I didn’t have a swimming pool at my compound,
b. At the local public beaches you were not allowed to show shoulders or upper thighs (i.e.: the dreaded burquini),
c. The hotel beaches charged a small fortune and
d. The closest beach I was confident in accessing in a standard car was an hours drive away.


Hello ‘Oasis Beach Club’!  All I need – a small beach, a large pool, a kiosk and umbrella for QR60 (AU$15, UK£10) – I am addicted.  My little Piscean self has come out of hiding and I have spent the best part of my week off basking, swimming, reading and lolling on a banana lounge.  A 10 min drive away, easy parking, friendly staff and apart from an unfortunate incident of a man wanking in the pool all is good.  As I wear contact lenses I swim with goggles and happened to spy said man’s rapid wrist action under water – from above he had the face of an angel!  I gave him a death stare and subtly told the other ladies in the water what I had glimpsed – I hope he was suitably embarrassed and I gave it three days before I returned in the hope that the chlorine had done it’s job.  Filthy bugger!

Other highlights of my week off included a firework display for Eid, I’m a tad ‘bah humbug’ about fire works – I’m not convinced they are good for either the environment or world debt and to be honest – once you’ve seen Sydney Harbour New Years Eve all else is a disappointment.  They were ok as far as pyrotechnics go and it was nice company but it was hot and as I said ‘bah humbug’.  It did give me an opportunity to take in the Cultural Village though – an impressive seaside architectural project that includes a huge amphitheatre, opera house, booze free restaurants and a large public beach (burquinis only).

From pink clockwise: Sumac, Jacaranda, Onion & Garlic, Madder, Red Onion, Chai, Mouldy Onion Skins, Ousef

I have also spent a lot of Ramadan and the last week dyeing and spinning silk caps.  The results have been very pleasing – especially the red onion skins – I felt like I was spinning gold – where’s my Rumplestiltskin?  As I publish this I have turmeric root and hibiscus flowers on the boil!

Spinning Gold

I’m back at work on Sunday – Ramadan is finished and everyone is heading back into town – I have survived the holy month and the worst of summer and it really wasn’t too difficult.  I have two months left of my contract – there is talk of another two months and a ‘then see’ – so we’ll see, not keeping all my eggs in the one basket though.  At any rate I should have a trip to see Ma and Pa in early November and I am crossing off the days – three years is far too long to have not seen them.

Perth WA - where my family live


4 Responses to “Short Haired Girl”

  1. RosMadeMe Says:

    Love the new hair Peta… still quite long for you, tee hee! The yarn looks fantastic, such subtle colours… have been doing a few felting courses which have been great and the blog is really growing. Although I have stupidly said I will do a tutorial every week until Xmas…. Doh!

  2. Nadia Says:

    Hey Pete. Hair and everything ‘attached’ to it and everything it’s attached to so laden with meaning. Apart from the head of hair, all the other hair issues so fraught. To shave, to wax, to pluck, to cauterise… Bloody hell, from a fem point of view, surely the patriarchy has learned to keep us busy grooming so we have little else time for meaning and being meaningful.

    • Yackity Yax Says:

      As feminists we know this – unfortunately the bulk of women are so busy grooming for their patriachs (or to catch one) that they don’t have time to ponder such issues! xxx

  3. Selby Pritchard Says:

    I would take longer to reply, but I need to shave…it should take most of the day….oh yeah I have just been ferrying my up and coming patriarchs to do paper rounds and driving lessons. That reminds me I must ring my Dad for fathers Day today! Heehee! Selby xxx

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