I woke up at 5:30 am. Not because I was seeking productivity or prosperity, I wouldn’t last a day in the 5 am club. I’m more of the sleeping beauty methodology. If I ever wake up that early it can only mean I’m heartbroken, extremely ill or notoriously jet-lagged. Today I checked the third one. It was still dark outside and I sat on the couch looking absent. I thought about treating myself to some tea the Malaysian way (half ice, half sugar) but I finally went for a cup of English breakfast tea. I finished reading Conversations with Friends. When I picked it up at a remote hotel in Kesil I did not know that it would be the best book I’ve read that year. Then I thought how bad of a critic I’d be, I’m always overrating things (“this is the best croissant I’ve ever had”, “Oh my God, this is the best hotel I’ve ever been to”). I’m far too positive to be a critic, quite the people-pleaser, I wouldn’t know how to dig deeper in the subtleties of what could be perfected, my scale goes from “fantastic” down to “really good”. I wondered if saying something was better than it was, made it actually better. It seemed too of a complex thought for that early in the morning, so I let it slip. I drank a mouthful of tea and analysed my nails, they looked wild.
At noon, I was sitting inside my go-to nail salon. They opened quite recently but it was the third time I visited. I was particularly excited when I discovered it, for several reasons. First of all, I didn’t look for it on the internet (yes, that is a valid reason), I passed by with two bags full of groceries when they were still building the interior and waited for it to open like a kid waits for summer or, alternatively, like an adult waits for election day - I’m kidding, where I come from you don’t get excited for voting. Call me old-school but that felt authentic. The price is reasonably low for the service you get, and I’m a sucker for the added value (and I willingly choose to ignore the effect marketing practices have on me). I've come up with this silly acronym to illustrate: CMM as in coffee, manicure and massage. But the best thing about the salon is the playlist. Although now that I think of it, it must be quite short since every time I’ve been there I’ve listened to the same songs. Well, quality over quantity, they say. It is a casually curated list of covers played only using a xylophone and a gong, and together with the Maneki-Neko it’s giving ideal Asian vibes. The repertoire goes from James Blunt to Jingle Bells. And who doesn’t love Christmas music all year long? (probably the ones who criticise Starbucks for hitting the Christmas playlist in October). I personally find it extraordinary and it has become a major requirement to listen to Christmas music while getting my nails done. I also deeply appreciate that they never judged my nails, like, is this a thing? Whenever I visited one of the expensive salons, they gave me that frivolous look and said “it was about time” or “you should really stop biting them”. My nails might not have feelings (that I know of) but I always get offended. I would’ve liked to answer “yeah, that’s why I’m here paying a fortune to fix them” but I never did.
I decided to write them a review in Google out of gratitude and good customer behaviour: “Fantastic service and impeccable manicure. The best salon I’ve ever been to”. You should try it though, I might be overrating again.