Vanity demands a certain price. Today I paid 20 euros to refresh the dashing colour of my hair -- a cross between persimmon and pomegranate. Truth is I brought the tube of appropriate colour with me from Canada. I didn't have much hope that a town of 1,700 in Southern Italy would carry Schwarzkopf''s dark blonde intensive red extra.
But I didn't go to a beauty parlour, although I gather that one exists tucked away somewhere in Martignano.
No, today I received hair services in my very own bedroom. Paola, our hostess, made a phone call, and presto, Paola (no relation) came knocking on my door with a bag full of professional accoutrements along with her hairdresser's bona fide, having graduated from the appropriate school in Lecce.
Paola has glossy dark brown hair, the same colour as her eyes. She hasn't quite reached her mid-20s and she can't find a job. Luckily, she's still living at home, she says.
Italy is an especially tough place to be young these days. Recent graduates with advanced degrees work as barristas and waiters -- if they can get any work at all.
Paola did a great job on the colour. (Although she did suggest, politely, few Southern Italians would have the nerve to sport such a vibrant shade.) She's so apt at working inside people's bedrooms, she didn't even make much of a mess on the white porcelain sink in my bathroom when she rinsed the blood-red goop from my hair.