Last Thursday was the one of the funniest days I have had in a while, the kind that just leave you laughing just thinking about it. All in a sphere of about 4 hours I became a dress up doll for one my good friends here. Let me give a brief background on my friend. Her name is Yaqut, she is around 49ish years old, not exactly sure (and no she doesn't speak English for those who you who were wondering. Next to my host mom she is my closest friend here.) She is the wife of my old and new site mate's director. She adored Amber, my old site mate, and now her complete focus is on me. It is kind of funny because half of the time she calls me Amber (but gets very upset if someone else does the same thing!) At times I feel very uncomfortable being the sole preoccupation of someone, but nonetheless I go guesting to her house about once a week.
So back to last Thursday. I went over there for lunch and we started talking about clothes. I had a big event coming up where I needed to dress up, so we were talking about what I would wear. Now since she had never seen me anything she considers "fancy clothes" she just assumed I don't have any (as does the rest of Imishli - business casual just doesn't make the grade here). So after lunch she brought me into her room and said "Look Hannah I have plenty of clothes, you can borrow mine." Then she proceeded to tell me to undress and had me try on the clothes! So imagine for a minute, me - 27, who likes to dress my age (or not really I like usually look younger than I am), but nevertheless, she had me rocking out middle age women long skirts with matching blazer - wait for it .... with shoulder pads! And to top it off she is bigger than me so all the clothes were literally falling off of me. It was so funny and Yaqut kept saying "Hannah, you look so beautiful!" It was so funny. Then, the icing on the cake came, I got a wig put on me. Yes a wig! I so wish I had my camera there. Well, after the playing doll session was over I was talking about how I wanted my eyebrows cleaned up. She said no problem and then we proceeded (have my own cloths on by now) to go to the shop she owns and then a girl comes in and starts plucking my eyebrows. So, they are a little bit skinnier than I would normally do them, but not bad. (Okay, don't forget I am in a shop, with 5 women in there all staring at me intensively and giving their opinions on how I should look.) Then out came the white sewing thread. Yes, I had my first and last experience of threading. That junk hurt! A lot. For those of you who aren't familiar with this process it is when regular sewing thread gets turned into a tool used to pull out hair through a crazy twisting of the thread, pinching of skin, and pulling it out. Well, I knew people threaded their eyebrows so that wasn't a big surprise. The big surprise came when areas of my face no where near my eyebrows starting hurting. Next thing I know she was threading my entire face! And when I say entire face I mean my face has no hair on it expect for my eyebrows. I am sure you are thinking, why the heck didn't you say anything. But, by then my face would have been half hairless and half with hair - so I just suck it up and let the pain keep coming. But, I am no done yet! Then after the de-hairing process was completed the women said to the girl that she needed to refix my hair. And of course, if my hair is going to get redone (which they said needed to be done better than the mere ponytail I had it in) might as well put makeup all over my face! (Which I don't wear here and it drives every Azerbaijani woman absolutely crazy.) So by then end of my guesting experience I was totally been beautified by Azerbaijani standards, but ruined it with my jeans and t-shirt. It was absolutely hilarious!