I spent a lot of time deciding on a salon for my Gibraltar wedding hair and makeup. For simplicity, I’d booked a manicure at the Rock Hotel’s salon. I had beautiful nails going into the appointment. For two weeks beforehand, Robert forbid me to do any household tasks that might damage my nails. He’d say, “nails!” and take over whatever I’d been doing.
Orlando’s Salon was a dark, dingy, windowless room that in location and decor looked like poorly converted storage space. Even though it borders Spain, Gibraltar is a British territory and the local language is English. Orlando had gone for the day, leaving me with his Spanish speaking manicurist.
I wear my nails with square tips and rounded corners, but for some reason this chick had me pegged as a pointy talon kind of woman. I’ve had manicures all over the place… Bangkok, Krakow, Aarhus, etc. and I’ve never had a manicurist not ask if I wanted to keep my shape.
I stopped her and tried to explain what I wanted, but she didn’t understand, so I brought up a photo on my iPhone. By the time she’d filed the talons back into a reasonable shape and evened out the others, there wasn’t much left to my nails… then she said, “humph… corta.” Oy! They weren’t short when she’d started!
They ended up several different shapes, so I fixed them on they sly while she went for supplies… by “supplies” I mean a basket of scary purple, black, blue, red, glittery, and hot pink nail polishes. I asked, “French?” She sighed, but obliged, doing white tips freehand and so thin that I could barely make them out. I’d packed my white nail polish, so I decided I’d just redo the tips when Robert got back with the luggage. But she asked if it was ok, so I consulted the iPhone again.
She repainted them with wider tips and they looked ok, but she hadn’t used a base coat and I’d declined the glitter-infused top coat, so I didn’t have high hopes that this manicure was going to remain intact for 15 hours until the wedding. I often do my nails myself, but I wanted to make sure they wouldn’t chip which is the only reason I’d booked the manicure.
According to the Hotel’s pricelist, a French Manicure was to be £20, but she charged me £30 and I couldn’t be bothered to argue about it. As Robert often says with a dismissive wave of his hand about things that aren’t worth stressing over… “Pope Francis.” I said “Pope Francis” to the manicure and as I left the salon, Robert drove in with our luggage.
Rush hour driving in Gibraltar is not for the faint of heart mostly due to hundreds of moped riders with a death wish. Robert reached the border after many sudden stops and swerves, only to discover near the front of the queue that his passport had flown off the passenger seat and was lost somewhere in the car. With the agreed hand off time closing in, he’d hoped for a quick crossing. To help this along, he held his passport with the seal of Great Britain facing toward him. He was in a Spanish registered car, and held that way the passport looked Spanish, so they waved him right through.
The only info we had regarding the delivery vehicle was that it would be a grey Citroen and it would meet him in the taxi stand. When he got there, there was already a grey Citreon in the taxi stand. He approached it, but it was the wrong Citreon. So he sat in the taxi stand sweating the possibility of a ticket for quite some time as grey Citreons came and went. Eventually ours came, and he made a quick crossing back into Gibraltar, this time showing the British seal side of his passport.
We swapped war stories and decided a bottle of Red was in order, so we took another walk to Morrison’s.
Next up, our wedding day…