Location: Arequipa, Peru
The only time I’ve ever gotten a manicure was part of a free event by some sanitary napkin company. My nails were painted a pearly pink.
While I liked my shiny nails, I’ve never found the time or money to visit a manicurist since then.
Today, my school mate N suggested that we visit a manicurist and that the price in Arequipa is a lot lower than overseas.
We went to a little alley that led into a courtyard a few blocks away from the hostel. The manicurists in one of the shops weren’t doing much when we went in.
I chose to do a plain manicure for 10 soles but N convinced me to get something fancy. I flipped through the samples and found one that I liked.
It was a white-background with blue lines like in an exercise book and doodles. I heart it very much.
The cost of the nail art was 20 soles (S$10) but it felt like a lot more work than that price. There was so much preparation: filing, cuticle pushing, painting the white base, painting the lines, painting the actual doodles. (You see what a noob I am at nailcare.)
The result was awesome. It looks like I am carrying exercise books on my nails.
Maybe I should have asked them to draw on the different past tense in Spanish, that would be very useful in class.
Throughout the manicure session, I felt something like guilt. Here I was with sweaty palms and my nails being painted with art. Am I exploiting the cheap labor of Peru or is this a fair trade?
Some things are best left unsolved.
Here is a photo of Arequipa at night to distract us all.