Thailand, Kid-Ginger, and my hairdressing aspiration

2 Dec

My brother thinks we should move to Thailand and open up a backpacking hostel.

I’m not so sure I’d be able to handle that much hippy.

Not that I wouldn’t be willing to give it a try.  I’m sure the opportunity for adventure and writing material would be vast.

He’ll report back on the situation, I’m sure.  He just left this morning, so I’m expecting an email within the next two weeks casually mentioning his intentions of marrying a local.

With Kid-Ginger, anything is possible.

Plus I recommended he read The Alchemist on the trip.  What better advice to give a brother than-hit the road, don’t look back, and go make your own journey?

I can feel my father’s expression as he reads that last sentence.  It’s bothered my parents for some time that I’ve been able to -ahem-casually suggest ideas for Kid-Ginger since he was quite small.

I can’t count the amount of times my mother has stared at him, exasperated, and muttered:

“Why, why on Earth do you keep listening to your sister?  Stop it.  Just stop listening to what she tells you to do-honestly.”

She may have been on to something the day I blindfolded him and fed him anchovy paste.  But I don’t think he really understood until nearly ten years later, when I decided to give him a ‘cool’ haircut.

I’ve somehow managed to convince three people in my life that I am capable of cutting hair.

He was my first victim.

Things were going well when I shaved off the sides of his head, and let longer red locks fall over the buzz underneath.  This was the nineties and we were in Seattle, so the grungy, mohawk potential was cool at the time.

For the record, he enjoyed the modern art on his scalp for the first week.  Like a little bad-ass, he ran across the soccer field, scoring goals while donning a look my father would later refer to as ‘white-trash chic’.


If my mother  hated the artwork on his head at that point, she despised it a week later when I again came at him with scissors.  We were eating sandwiches on the porch, when I glanced at my 11 year old sibling and said:

“You know kiddo, I’m pretty sure it’s uneven.  I just need to fix it-a little, won’t take long, I promise.”

The problem with making hair even when you have no idea what you’re doing-is that somehow you convince yourself to just keep going shorter, and shorter….

and shorter….

Suddenly I realized I had turned my brother into a turnip.


When my mom came home from work that afternoon, she found me outside the bathroom door, trying to console her only son on what would go down in history as Kid-Ginger’s worst haircut.

When he finally opened the door and she saw what I had done to his head, I knew I was grounded.

Hours later, after he had returned from the proper hairdressers and finally stopped glaring at me, I convinced him that it was just a misunderstanding.

By bedtime, we were friends again.

Here’s hoping he comes home from Thailand.


15 Responses to “Thailand, Kid-Ginger, and my hairdressing aspiration”

  1. Jimmy December 2, 2010 at 1:10 pm #

    Love the illustrations.

    I wonder if Thai food is that good in Thailand.

    I think I would go to the Philippines first on an Asian adventure. But, if by choice I would likely go to the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, and American Samoa.

    I find U.S. possessions and the last of the U.K. and French possessions to be total cool places to go to.

    – Jimmy

    • wanderingmenace December 2, 2010 at 1:14 pm #

      Thanks Jimmy.

      I’m willing to bet the food is amazing and fantastic and better than any thai food anywhere else in the world, it being thailand and all. 🙂

      A lot of that part of the world is former colonies, same as Africa. It’s good to travel anywhere, there’s so much to learn, see and taste.
      As I’m sure kid-ginger is about to discover.

      • unbjames December 4, 2010 at 1:23 pm #

        It is … and very cheap! Noodles, rice dishes, curries, meat skewers, it’s all good!

        Just look for a stand that has alot of customers and ones that cook your meal on order … avoid ones that have a large fly count, stuff just sitting out en masse, but no paying patrons, etc.

        Use your common sense, but otherwise chow down!

  2. Bob December 2, 2010 at 1:41 pm #

    Well if that’s the worst you did to your little brother he can say that he got off pretty easy. I used to torture my little bro endlessly, getting him into trouble by telling him to squeeze eggs while mom was on the phone.

    We would play wrestling games in which he would always end up getting the snot beat out of him, and one time my uncle taught me how to throw an uppercut! You can guess how that went over at the lunch table when I decided that I needed to practice on him.

    Ahh childhood memories, hopefully you gave your brother a good dose of reality so he goes into Thailand with his eyes wide open. You never know when some other lady will want to cut more than just his hair.

    • wanderingmenace December 2, 2010 at 1:45 pm #


      I’d say that was about the worst I did to him. Not sure what he’d claim though. Yea, I’m sure there are plenty of women out there who are sharpening their sheers as we speak.
      (insert shudder here)
      As always, thanks for reading. 🙂

  3. TheIdiotSpeaketh December 2, 2010 at 1:42 pm #

    My daughter is a stylist….when she was younger…she would “practice” by giving me haircuts….. I still shudder thinking about some of those cuts….. pretty traumatic…. like “A Flock of Seagulls” from the early 80’s traumatic…. 🙂

    • wanderingmenace December 2, 2010 at 1:46 pm #

      Well, if you’re gonna go big, go 80s hair big, that’s what I say.

      I’m sure she has more talent that what I got up to. I still can’t believe I have done this to three people….

  4. ChickensConsigliere December 2, 2010 at 2:54 pm #

    Hi Ryan: You know that someday you are going to be reincarnated as the youngest sibling, right? I came over from SubWow’s blog where I really liked your comment. Re: Your brother. There was a book published a few years ago-I think it is called, “Make Love to Me in the Temple of Heaven”. It’s about two girls who back pack in China just after China starts allowing Americans in-the early 80’s, I think. Anyway, they stay in some hostels but what really captured my imagination was a little restaurant they walked to that all the back packers loved because they served American Food there. You could get pancakes, burgers, shakes. It was owned my a young Chinese woman who had been to American and learned to cook. I’m not making it sound that cool, but trust me, in the book it was really cool. Maybe your brother and his new wife could open a place like that on the ground floor of the hostel.

    • wanderingmenace December 2, 2010 at 3:03 pm #

      Hey, thanks for stopping by!
      Yes, I am positive that at some point I’ll be sitting in the younger sibling chair, being forced to suffer all forms of humiliation.
      I’ll have to check out that book, it sounds interesting. Kid-Ginger doesn’t read the blog unless I actually send him links, so I’ll have to discuss this with him when he comes to London for Christmas.
      I can see him doing that though. Easily.
      My brother the American diner owner and backpacking adventurer.
      I bet I’d get free wings. 🙂

  5. AmericanBridget December 2, 2010 at 3:16 pm #

    Holy shit, that was funny. I too am an older sibling to my younger brother. Though I thought at age 4 I was a hair dresser so I conned my brother to letting me cut his hair while my mom was in the shower. I was clever though…I put all the hair of his I cut off into an envelope and hid it so my mom wouldn’t find out. Juvenile rationing, but at least I was a forward thinker, right???? I mean, it’s not like she wouldn’t notice the hair missing on his head if the remnants were hidden, right??????

    It must be a Ryan thing…

    • wanderingmenace December 2, 2010 at 3:23 pm #

      It’s definitely a Ryan thing, you have no idea.
      When I was nine I cut my own bangs, then hid the hair under my father’s bathroom sink and boldfaced pretended like I had no idea how it had gotten there when he called me out.
      ‘must have been some other blonde kid living here Dad, not me though-no sir. What? What do you mean my bangs are crooked?’

      Girl. Ryans. Rock. Clearly.

  6. Georgina Dollface December 2, 2010 at 3:31 pm #

    I was the youngest between me and my brother. I could rarely convince him to do any of my bidding, except the one time I made him eat all the chalky gum from several packs of Star Wars cards. He ended up barfing all over the side of my Dad’s car. We both got in trouble for that one.
    And I’ve only ever been able to convince my Barbies that they needed a trim, because, well, it’s not like they could say no and run away.
    Great post, I enjoyed learning more about Kid-Ginger! – G

    • wanderingmenace December 2, 2010 at 3:34 pm #

      Barfing in cars=instant hilarity.
      I’m sure my father would agree with yours on that.

      Thanks for stopping by, there are plenty of kid-Ginger stories to come. I’m sure he’s pleased about that…

  7. suki @ [Super Duper Fantastic] December 2, 2010 at 5:09 pm #

    A hostel in Thailand would be BRILLIANT. I stayed in one in Singapore, and I think the guys who ran it were from other places around the world. It was such a fun space. 🙂

  8. Gnetch December 3, 2010 at 4:17 am #

    Ry, this is like another proof that we are meant to be friends! I used to do that to my siblings too. Long-range high five!

    Only, now that my brother is 27, he no longer listens to me. So what I do is offer make overs to my younger cousins. What? I can’t help myself!! 😀

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