I was doing henna in little India during Deepavali season last year.
Someone commented to the stall owner it is so rude to put a photo of a hennaed foot up. (image is in my henna gallery) They commented it is a disgrace to the Indian tradition. Ahh. but I am Chinese and not
Indian. And for goodness sake, henna is not strictly an Indian tradition. If you like what I do with a henna cone, you come and sit at my table, if not get your fucking ass and righteous attitude away or I'll ask you to talk to my HAND "Diva Styled".
Anyway there's a little incident I like to share. Goes like this...
Me sitting at henna stall. A ghostly apparition approached. Pot bellied and Madonna-Geisha re-bonded, this amateur drag-queen look-a-like cat-walked to my stall with enough make up with shades that are on the direct opposites of a color wheel. I reckoned that amount of cosmetics on her face can feed families in Somalia.
"You can't do henna, you are Chinese, what are you sitting here?
-Talk to my hand- I lifted up my left hand that was hennaed with enough lace-like intricacies to cover her oil tanker bottom and idly waved it in her face.
Eyes popping for one third of a second, drag-queen look-a-like regained her regal composure and belted out. "You can't do it, I bet you paid someone else to do it"
"He do it himself lah. you want to do henna or not? $5 half hand $10 full hand." SXXXX the stall owner interjected impatiently in a middle of her full hand job with another client. Waving her silver henna cone like a dagger at the apparition.
"I don't wanna do it, But you can do it for my daughter. ... Come baby let this uncle do it for you."
Uncle? UNCLE? have I've aged so much. UNCLE!
The girl was plump, nice and obliging, held out her hand. "What design do you want?"
"Anything" I proceed to henna.
Then SXXXX teenage son did something which his mom disapprove and both of them get into an
argument. At the same time the drag-queen woman saw a friend and both of them started chatting.
"Look the son is fighting with his mother... so rude. Unlike my sons, they are all well trained." she commented high handedly. "My daughter here is also very well trained... right baby?"
Daughter was so coy and smiled embarrassedly. And that mother goes on and on about how well trained her children are. Then she looked at my hand and said "why did you do different designs on both of her hands. Can't you do the same."
But daughter and friend liked my work. She liked them as well and accepted the job but had to end with "It's nice, but I know he can't do them the same because he doesn't have a book to follow."
I was thinking she must have been looking at a photo of a mandrill while putting on her makeup.
She cajoled her friend into getting one design on me. Friend said ok. Then she proceed to talk to me non stop about every little trivial things you can imagine. It was very irritating cos I was trying to henna and that irritant was demanding my attention as she wanted a response from whatever she said.
When it was finished, her friend paid me for HER henna and all of them proceed to leave.
"Excuse me madam, you haven't paid me for your daughter's henna"
"What? I"VE PAID YOU ALREADY! If you said that, I am going to say I've given you fifty dollars and you didn't gave me my change." And proceed to walk off.
Daughter whispered something into her ear and she said indignantly "I"VE PAID HIM ALREADY" and proceed to walk away. Daughter gave me a very apologetic and embarrassed look.
I waved them away. I dunno but at that time, I knew the daughter knew her mom was in the wrong, somehow it gave me some kind of perverted satisfaction that transcend the loss of income. She knew I was right and she tried to put things right in spite of her mom's tyranny. Whether she succeed it doesn't matter. I let it rest.
Thank god SXXXX was still fighting with her son, if not she would have made a scene cos she takes a cut from whatever money I make.
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