Yesterday I was able to have the stitches taken out of my scalp. I think I'll be wearing a scarf for a while. My Pentecostal friend, whose church requires women to keep their heads covered, will think I've converted.
Head coverings here can mean any number of things. Obviously, women from devout Muslim families keep their heads covered. There are several different looks, depending on which branch the woman adheres to. The Sunni women usually have very beautiful, colorful scarves arranged very elaborately. On occasion we see women wearing head-to-toe coverings, usually foreigners from neighboring countries. Then there's the babushka look, usually sported by very large, elderly ladies: dark brown, black or dark blue kerchiefs. Some ethnic groups have their own distinct style of head coverings. My Pentecostal friend is often mistaken for ethnic Chechnyan because of the way she arranges her scarf. The downside to that is that she's invariably subjected to a police search whenever she rides the subway. There's a general suspicion that Chechnyan women might have explosives hidden under their head covering. And then, there's one of the more common head coverings. Three or four days without water means a bad hair day. The young women here are generally very beautiful, and quite vain. A nice scarf looks a lot better than dirty hair!