Friday, October 12, 2007

French hairdryers blow because they don't.

I know what you're thinking...

What in the name of Star Wars is THAT?! A new character? No, my friends, that is a French hairdryer. I only took one picture, but if I had taken a picture of each hairdryer in each of the seven hotel rooms we'd stayed in, it would just look like this picture x 7. Because that is how, apparently, all hairdryers look in French hotels.

How hard is it to install real hairdryers in hotel rooms? As far back as I can remember, I have always blow-dryed my hair with something that looks like this:

Or this:

Or even this:

This type, by the way, is NOT made for long hair. It's made for blowing a fuse within minutes of turning it on.

But this..

... is NOT a hairdryer. And I'm telling you, they're everywhere. Nice hotels, crappy hotels. We even stayed at a very famous chain that I'm sure everyone at some point in their life has stayed at. A chain that is very much American. But still, the same hairdryer.

They all looked like this, EXCEPT for the one time when our original hotel tried to bump us to a "sister" hotel "down the street" because they'd "overbooked." Whatever. I went to check out this "sister" hotel, that they swore was "exactly the same quality." I guess when they said "EXACTLY THE SAME QUALITY" they forgot about the two twin beds pushed together to make a double, the air conditioner that didn't work, the stained carpet and the hairdryer that had been ripped out of the unit! Did someone love this crazy type of hairdryer SO much that they wanted to take it with them? Maybe they didn't realize that they would get that same type of hairdryer in EVERY single hotel they stayed at in France. Or maybe, they realized that they could never ever in a million years BUY a hairdryer like this in the store because it's not 1952 anymore, so they wanted to take it with them.

In any event, I reported back to my husband and the concierge that no, we would not be moving over to this sister hotel (that by the way was not down the street but actually down the street around a corner, down another street and around another corner on a deserted street where the road had been ripped up and a jackhammer was drilling a hole to China).

Somehow they found us a room at the first hotel. Magic! And while the room was very nice, the hairdryer looked like this:

This thing is like holding a barely-charged no-name DustBuster (which as you know NEVER work as well as a real DustBuster even if you save $10) to your head, only in reverse. Like, you know how when the DustBuster needs charging and you're trying to get those few crumbs off the couch and it just won't suck enough air in quick enough to get the crumb up? Well that's what these hairdryers were like. They were blowing so little air they would barely even move a strand on my head if it was dry, let alone if it was wet, and obviously my hair was wet or I wouldn't need to use the hairdryer. I can accept that a lot of things are different in France or in any country, and I like that about travelling, but seriously, in this case, their different is not better. Haven't any of the people running these hotels ever stayed at a hotel in North American and thought, Wow, this hairdryer really works. Maybe we should upgrade our 1952 models to these. Or haven't any sales reps for any major hairdryer manufacturers ever stayed in a hotel in France and thought, wow, these hairdryers really blow. Maybe we could make a ton of money if we showed them how a real hairdryer works and get them to install them in all their bathrooms in all their hotels in this chain across the country! But no... they probably decided just to go eat crepes instead. Which, by the third hotel, is what I decided to do, while letting my hair air-dry instead.


Laural Dawn said...

I cannot stop laughing!!! Too funny. I hate sucky hair dryers. I went to France a few years ago but stayed in hostels. Maybe I brought my own hairdryer? Who knows.
But, I have to admit that one of my hair dryers broke, and I was in a panic and for some reason I had curling mousse at home, so I decided to try it and I discovered that I have waves.
So maybe that was the real lesson in all of it and you just didn't know!!!

christina campbell said...

It looks a lot like the central vac in my parents' home. Scary.

Bonnie said...

You should have wripped one of those suckers out of the wall and taken it to the Antiques Roadshow...or sold it on eBay. LOL

vickie said...




This is, by FAR, your best post EVER! It's hysterical and SO well-done! I love it!!!! And the repeated photo? Over and over again?! BRILLIANT!

vickie said...

Btw, you should totally submit it somewhere. Anywhere. That needs to published!

Lou said...

vickie sent me here to read about French hair dryers and laugh. And I did just that--thanks!

BikerXena said...

I'm here via vickie's link, too, and I can't believe that thing's a hair dryer! ROFL! I love how you set it up, with the text and pictures, as well. I will keep this in mind if I ever make it to France!

Really, being without a hair dryer (a real one!) is a big fear of mine when traveling, as I have nearly waist-length hair that takes about 6 hours to air dry, which is plenty of time to get chilled, plus my hair looks really crummy when it air dries. My hair needs a real, American hair dryer. LOL I recently took a trip from CA to the Midwest, and was thrilled that my mom had a loaner for me that was 1875 watts...that's the only thing that got me to my high school class reunion on time, because it dried my hair quickly and efficiently. I'd spent big bucks (for me) on a cut and color, so having my hair dry properly really meant something, at least that night.

Anyway, great post and hilarious repeating picture of that monstrosity they called a hair dryer!