I found him standing by the pavement, staring into the distance. He was wrapped in a large plastic sheet with a giant plastic clip cinched near his neck. His hair was slicked back thoroughly with a black and purplish paste, his crown splattered with dye.

“How long more?” I asked of his dye job.

Unperturbed, he replied, “30 minutes. This just went on on.”

“You know,” he continued, “This dye is L’oreal. No local brand for me. All these terrible news about toxins in hair dye.”

I asked how often he had to dye his hair.

“Once a month, otherwise, it’s just a shock of grey hair,” he guffawed.

From the corner of my eye, I noticed a large pink mass walk by. I looked up and found his friend, a shirtless man, stroking his belly as he contemplated which chair to settle himself into.

He was also bald. Very bald.

I slowly smiled. How about you guys pose together? I asked.

Mr. L’oreal looked at Mr. Baldy and scratched his head. Sure, he shrugged. As they posed, both solemn faces, something dawned on Mr. L’oreal.

He started laughing, and kept laughing and laughing. Seemed he caught on to my cheekiness while Mr. Baldy looked bewildered. Mr. L’oreal pointed at Mr Baldy’s shiny top, and then his own. Next thing I knew, a crowd had gathered and everyone was laughing as well.

One last flash of teeth at the camera, and it was a wonderful way to end the afternoon.

July 2010



  • Reply September 15, 2010



  • Reply September 15, 2010


    This is such a wonderful capture. Love love love the story as well!!

  • Reply September 21, 2010

    Eric Kim

    Great story –thanks for sharing! This made me smile.

    • Reply September 22, 2010

      Sue Anne

      Thanks, Eric! I just want to let you know that I’ve added you to the blogroll. Always a joy reading your thoughtful insights on street photography.

  • […] by Sue Anne Tay, who kindly granted permission for us to show it here: Learn more about the photo here and view Sue Anne’s other excellent work at her website Shanghai Street Stories. Wonder how […]

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