The Pedicure

Warning: Rated PG13 – If the idea of a bikini wax makes you uncomfortable, perhaps you might want to skip this particular entry; but as I’ve already said it and you’ve already thought about it, you may as well keep reading.   

Chatting to some girlfriends about general bikini / summer prep, it was decided a pedicure was definitely in order for my scary feet.  My friend Heather suggested I go to her salon near Fourways.  I thought, however, that as that area is pretty far north of where I live and the salon is less than a bargain, I could do most of the  procedures myself.  Then yesterday as I went for a walk around the block at lunch I noticed a new salon has opened up across the road from work.  Cheap and cheerful – perfect.  I thought, “go for the pedicure and see how you feel before booking any waxings.”

Good idea: if that woman does to my nether region what she did to my toes, I may never wear a bathing suit of any sort again.

I left work at 11:45 to grab some cash from the ATM, which is always a relatively nerve-testing affair in Braamfontein.  A security guard with about three guns strapped to his bullet-proof vest came in and stood there in an intimidating sort of way.  It was then I realized there was an armoured vehicle with more security guards on walkie talkies right out front.  “Super,” I thought, “this’ll be the second cash-in-transit heist in the city today and it’s not even lunch.”  AND there was only one ATM working so I had to wait there.  Luckily no gunshots or muggings actually went down (though as a sidebar, pretty sure I heard my first gunshot yesterday afternoon – don’t worry mom, it was probably a car backfiring). 

I made it to the salon for my noon apt.  I booked the R90 (about $15) pedicure yesterday and checked it would take about half an hour.  The woman was busy so it was not until at least ten minutes or so later that I was soaking my feet… I did so four at least 20 minutes as she faffed around doing something-or-other.  Then the tools came out.  I saw her put disinfectant in the water, but I didn’t actually see anything cleaned and the nail files have definitely seen several hundred feet.  I concede that in some ways the violent scrubbing and tugging and shaving and chipping of my ticklish and sensitive feet was a good thing – first pedi of the season and all that, but the vigorous effort was taken too far with the filing.   She seriously over-did my nails, which are now so short the look like I bite them.

Then came the polish.

Wow – a selection of five shades of iridescent pink.  ew.  So I looked in the manicure basket and picked a shimmery deep burgundy-red.  Apparently lots of other people have chosen it too, and it’s been there a while.  It was thick and goopy and had to be mixed with clear polish for the second foot as there wasn’t enough.  More polish got on the surrounding skin than the nails; so, i found it intriguing that she actually didn’t cover the whole nail with polish on my big toe, the result of which is a deformed-looking toenail.  Then the lady who had been waiting for her apt to start (very late) spilled a glass of water on herself, so my “esthetician” go up to blow dry her pants.  I grabbed the bottle and wood pick thing and tried to fix some of the damage.

I was there for two and a half hours. On a work day.

And the price magically went up over night to R120.

I tipped her R20 – which confused her greatly and caused much bragging in the “salon”.

I’m looking forward to the inevitable questioning from my boss about where I was for my very very long lunch.

I’m coming in late tomorrow because of my hair cut.

But my feet are much softer than they were this morning.

All is not lost.

Lesson learned: next time go for the clear polish.

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