Week 9: Shellac and 4 Wheel Driving
In my last post I was leaving Bangkok after a fantastic week and a day playing tourist and working on a professional children’s show. Originally after my week in Bangkok I was to fly straight back to my small town home via the nearest big city. However, just three weeks before I left for my adventure I received a phone call from a very dear friend. “Hey love,” she said. “Just checking to see if you would be able to make it to Canberra in three weeks for my wedding?” Um, ok, so I knew she was getting married, but the wedding was meant to be much later down the track. Sadly, the family had received some news and so my lovely friend and her charming beau had decided to fast-track the wedding.
As it turned out, I was flying in from Bangkok a few days before the wedding date, so a quick revision of plans and an additional couple of flight bookings later I was all set to celebrate my friends’ nuptials.
I arrived in Canberra after 15 hours of travel, tired but excited to be returning to the place I called home for nearly 5 years before I made my move to London. It was my second trip to Canberra in 7 months and I was looking forward to catching up with some of my closest friends, not to mention celebrating a much anticipated wedding.
This is all very nice, I can hear you thinking (again with my psychic ability – maybe I should forge a new career in the other-worldly domain), but what does this have to do with your weekly challenge?! Well keep your pants on, I am getting there. I am just taking the long route. You know, painting a picture and all that.
So there I am in Canberra looking a little bedraggled from my hard work and outings in Bangkok when I look down at my fingernails and realise with a start that I no longer have well kempt nails. No siree Bob! I was now sporting jagged, split and altogether mangy looking nails thanks to the demands of costume fitting and prop-making in Bangkok. Who knew that the job would take such a toll? Now I know this was far from the end of the world, but when one is due to attend a black-tie wedding, one must be looking the best that they can. And for women, this includes nails of both the finger and toe variety.
Now the painting and shaping of nails does not fall under my many and varied skills, so there was nothing else for it – I would have to have a manicure and pedicure. I know; it’s a hard life for some. This is where I hit upon a problem – how would I get to a nail salon without transport? I was staying with close friends but they were out and about, and my other friends were all working (go figure, working on a week day!). Happily my friend with whom I was bunking whilst in Canberra said that I could borrow her husband’s car for the day. Excellent! Well it was excellent until I realised that the car in question was a 4WD.
Those who know me well would already be laughing about this turn of events. You see, I am not known for my proficient driving and parking skills. My parking, in particular, leaves a lot to be desired. My car parking space at work, for example, requires the execution of a reverse parallel park. Horrendous. My daily parking in this spot brings much merriment to my colleagues, and I often receive a not-so-great rating out of 10 for my efforts. Needless to say I was petrified of driving the 4WD (I had never driven one before) and absolutely stunned that my friend trusted me with the (very snazzy) vehicle. “Don’t worry”, she said. “It is automatic, it has a reversing camera, front and back sensors, and great steering. Even you can’t go wrong in this car”. Such confidence; bless her.
Getting into the car almost required a step ladder (really these vehicles are not made for short people). Once inside I took a deep calming breath and started the car (of course I had already adjusted the seat, put my seatbelt on and checked the mirrors – I’m a safety girl). So far so good. Now to reverse out of the driveway. Putting the car into reverse I was happy to see the reverse camera click in. What a great invention! No need to look over one’s shoulder – the reverse view is right in front of you on the rear-view mirror. Excellent. Slowly I started to reverse. Things were looking good. Then BEEEEEEPPPP went the sensors. Scared the living bejesus out of me I can tell you! Clearly I came too close to the garage door (to my credit there wasn’t that much room to move). Adjusting my direction I managed to make it out of the driveway without too much difficulty and only one further beep.
And then I was loose on the roads – look out Canberra! It was quite strange to be sitting so high up (my car is of the sports variety so sits quite low to the ground). I know that for many such transportation is an every-day occurrence. But for me it was a new experience, and I must say I quite enjoyed it. No doubt it would have been more enjoyable if I had not been so scared about harming the car or the other people on the road!
Yay for me I made it through the 20 minute drive into the city without an incident. Great stuff. Now to find a car space and park the monster. This was something I was not looking forward to.
Driving around the car park I spotted two vacant parking spaces – it was my lucky day. I would have enough room to manoeuvre without worrying about hitting another car. I parked with no trouble (only the one beep from the sensors) and off I went in search of a nail salon.
(Note: if there are any guys reading this blog you may want to skip the next few paragraphs unless you really want to hear all about the trials and tribulations of nail polish).
Having found a well-priced salon and booked in a mani – pedi, I set about choosing my colours. That is when I remembered that recently I had been admiring a friend’s nails and asked her how she managed to keep the colour on for so long without it chipping and looking tired. “It’s Shellac” she told me. Sher-who? “It’s like a long-lasting nail polish that doesn’t chip for weeks and always looks salon perfect”. It sounded too good to be true, but given that my usual nail polish efforts hardly last a day I was willing to give it a go.
Now ladies, most of us know the joy that is a mani-pedi, so I won’t go into the details. It certainly wasn’t my first time, and it won’t be my last. But it was my first time getting Shellac and I was a bit surprised by the drawn out process. The process starts normally enough with a coat of nail polish. Then you place your hand (or foot) under a UV light for 60 seconds, after which another coat is painted on. This is then followed by another stint under the UV light. This process goes on 4 times for each hand and foot. I have to say it did get a little tedious, but the result was worth it! Gorgeous looking, glossy, strong nails. And, I am happy to report, the polish does indeed stay on for many weeks without any chipping. In fact, to get it off one must soak your nails for a long time in acetone nail polish remover and then scrub quite hard to get the darn stuff off!
I loved my new nails and found myself marvelling at them often over the next few hours, especially while driving home in the 4WD (which I had no problem reversing out of the car park apart from two minor beeps from the sensors when I came too close to the car behind me when reversing out of said parking space).
All in all I managed my two challenges for the week with a minimum of fuss. Ok, so I wouldn’t really say that getting my nails done was a challenge, but the Shellac was a new experience and it therefore fits within the criteria of my “do something new every week for 52 weeks” challenge. And after my hectic 8 days in Bangkok, it was a very much needed easy challenge for the week!
My friend’s wedding was sublime – beautiful and a lot of fun, just like the couple themselves. I was so glad that I was able to make it, and it was wonderful to catch up with people that I hadn’t seen for many years. It reminded me of the lyrics from the Cheers theme song:
“Be glad there’s one place in the world
Where everybody knows your name
And they’re always glad you came
You want to go where people know
People are all the same
You want to go where everybody knows your name”
So what did I learn this week? Well in a nutshell I learnt that:
• Shellac is ‘the bomb’ (as the cool kids and homies would say).
• Parking and reversing is sooooo much easier with a reversing camera.
• Driving a 4WD can make you feel quite powerful. This can be a good and bad thing.
• I have very trusting friends, for which I am supremely grateful. They believe in my abilities even when I don’t believe in them myself. It is so important to have such people in your life. They can lift you up and send you on your way to greatness (or at least, send you on your way to driving a big-arse car). To have people believe in you when you are struggling to believe in yourself is such a powerful experience, and I so hope that everyone has at least one person like that in their lives.
• I will not be trading in my car anytime soon for a 4WD.
And thus endeth another week. Until next week, remember:
“Never be afraid to try something new because life gets boring when you stay within the limits of what you already know” ~ Unknown