March 23, 2015
I came to Korea with a gel manicure because I knew it would last me awhile during the beginning of our time here while we continue to settle-in. It has come to the point where I just really need to get my nails done. After doing some research online, it seems that gel manicures in Korea can cost over $100! That is extremely ridiculous. On top of that, they charge extra per finger for the removal of gel polish. Wow. Good thing I managed to pick away at 3 fingers over the weekend.
Anyway, I walked into a salon around the corner from the school and a woman was getting her nails done. She smiled at me and spoke to me in English – a surprising treat as I had come prepared with screen shots of Google translations. She encouraged me to try colors and told me the manicure would take about an hour. I wasn’t sure if she was talking to me on behalf of the woman doing her nails or because she was also an employee getting her nails done. She continued to chat with me while I waited.
Woman: “What is your name?”
Me: “My name is Ashley. What is your name?”
Woman: “Ela” (points to sign)
Ah hah! I was sitting inside “Ela Nail” and this was the owner!
Immediately after Ela’s gel manicure was complete, the two women both started working on my manicure (the owner gets down and dirty – good quality, eh?). I don’t think I’ve ever experienced that before and I couldn’t believe anyone would help with my nails while boasting a fresh mani (that’s what gel is for I suppose!). I really appreciated that and was also thankful I didn’t have any itches to scratch, haha. I had double service until it was time to cut and polish my nails. At that point, Ela left (it was after 8pm by now) and the other woman finished it up. I’m not one that talks much during manicures at home, but this young woman and I really couldn’t communicate verbally past “yes,” “no,” and “thank you.” She was really sweet, though, and when my nails were drying, used her translate phone app to tell me to be careful with my nails! She wrote down the cost in her phone so I could see and I typed my name into her phone for their records. All in all a great success even though I will be bidding adieu to the everlasting gel mani for the next year.