Left to my own devices, I like to do strange things around the house. I guess they aren't really strange per se; let's just say that I can waste away a whole day quicker than you can say "US State Department." Other FSOs wonder and ask me with concern, "how are you doing? are you getting along ok? what have you been occupying yourself with?". I answer these questions with some confusion, wondering who wouldn't like to spend all their time doing whatever they wish, smile, and say that I'm doing just great.
The truth is I spend my time doing a lot of housework: laundry, shopping, cooking, organizing, cleaning and the like. But I LOVE it. I also go to the gym, museums (I haven't quite made it there yet cause I've been busy!), visit with friends and read a lot. Sounds like heaven, right? Perhaps this feeling will eventually wear off but so far, so good.
Today I decided to dye my hair. Since my beloved hairstylist is 3000 miles away (I miss you, Jenny!) and will presumably be even further away within the next year, I have been forced to look into alternative ways to maintain my locks. I considered chopping off the whole lot but that wasn't met too kindly by the wife. I decided to explore a previous interest: henna. I found an Indian grocery by accident in Falls Church, VA and was shocked by all the different kinds of henna they offered. I went with a big tub of powder and added the supplementary methi powder for fun. (I also bought all the fixings to try my hand at homemade dal while I was there.) My Pakistani and Nepali friends laughed at my purchase and joked that I bought products to bleach my skin. I'm sure they were worried about my cooking endeavour also.
I mixed everything up, let it sit for 2 hours, then applied it all over my head. It kinda stinks but reminds me of Chinese herbs so it feels a little comforting. Once smeared on, your head looks reminiscent of a slick superhero, with a 'do you could massage into any arrangement desired. I polished mine into a cute pixie style and braved the apartment gym. Luckily I didn't have to run into anyone because what looks acceptable in your apartment doesn't necessarily look as cute in a public space.
Getting the stuff out of your hair 3 hours later is quite a challenge. Of course I decided to work the heck out of my arms at the gym so holding them over my head and encouraging all the mud to break free was quite exhausting. After an extensive rinse, 2 conditions and 20 minutes later I stepped out of the shower. I LOVE IT. I love it even more than I have when done professionally. It's definitely redder than I anticipated but I think it works. It's also HEALTHY.
If anyone has any tips on how to get it off your head easier they would be much appreciated. Also, word to the wise: use gloves. My hands are bright orange.