An attempt to fly, the heels to high – This is the story of the Singapore Seal!
Born and raised in a small town in the south of Sweden, moving to Singapore at the unexperienced age of 22 and living there for 2 years was one of the best growth and learning experiences of my life so far.
Positive and not so scary sides of moving all the way across the globe was the tropical climate and exotic palm trees welcoming me in to a colorful culture. The best part was of corse being close to my oldest sister whom had moved there a few years prior.
Some of the most intimidating things were trying to find a new job and understanding a new culture all at the same time. I had only had ONE hairdressing job and 4 years of basic beginners experience in my field before applying to get sponsored for a visa in one of the most selective and desirable countries in the world.
Somehow, things worked out and I found myself not only with a 2 year work visa. But also working in THE MOST beautiful and prestigious salon I had ever seen. It had real plants decorating the walls along the grand corridor floor to ceiling welcoming you like the most luxurious organic hug you could ever imagine. A beautiful carpet dressed the floors of the salon in a regal (slippery for seal) perfectly designed aesthetic and went all the way from the entrance in to the main salon floor where about 10-15 of the lower to mid level stylist worked.
Along the path of this beautiful corridor were private rooms. The first four rooms (where the founder and owner of the salon work sometimes) were hidden behind sliding glass doors planted in the beautiful green plant wall, genius! Further down the corridor, a dome like centre leading in to 4 private rooms that were more exposed, no sliding door to get in. Stylists on a high level worked in there and both them and their clients had the comfort of privacy but also a view of what was going on outside if desired.
So now…the Swedish slide done by the ‘Singapore Seal’🙆🏼
This was a high-end salon. There was a dress code that was black trousers and white shirt. Being 22 and completely under qualified for the job, I made a desperate attempt to look, act and appear capable. So I decided to wear very high heels. Having a limited budget and not knowing what comfort or quality meant at that age I bought a pair that had a super slippery surface underneath….
Combine the humor of a funny yet sad Chaplin scene with horror at the capacity of a Hitchcock murder. At the grand entry of the corridor, right by the hidden private rooms as I try to gracefully maneuver along in my new and oh so slippery stilettos, my legs somehow decide to collide and I feel like I all of a sudden have 8 feet instead of 2 and they are all getting tangled in to each other! I go sailing down the carpet, like a slippery seal along the five-star corridor of the most elegant establishment I have ever been a part of.
Falling on your face without style or grace.
Amongst the witnesses that saw my Swedish Seal Slide were some young chinese trainees and my boss himself who had already told me to lose weight and dress better. He had stepped out of his private room to take a break in his busy schedule filled with celebrities and demanding tycoon clients only to witness what could only be described as the millionth reason to fire me.
Thankfully he didn’t. After my one minute long, ‘fall and slide’ and my super ungraceful attempt to get up and back on to my feet I wanted to die or disappear. (Preferably both in that moment.) It was terrible, humiliating and something I could not wish upon my worst enemy. However, looking back at the event today, almost 7 years later it fills me with warmth, humor and a fun memory of how important it is to fall on your face and still live to tell the sad but funny story about it.