I’ve not got my hair cut in, well… I suppose, the last 6 months or so, at which time I was in the comfortable surrounding of my good friend Glen, who has cut my hair since I began caring what I looked like. I’d rock up to Glen in the shop and he’d kindly, and discreetly fit me in between a perm and a wedding booking, which was probably back dated from the day the ring was produced. Yeah that’s Glen, always got a chat and a good joke to send you on your way with a smile on your face and a new hair do on your head!
Today I spotted a Turkish barbers shop just around the corner from my apartment, so I decided to go for the chop. With nothing more than a verb or two of German, and a mop of hair your mother would gladly take to the floor, I took my place in the orderly cue and waited my turn.
While sitting there, I was exposed to the ritual, which is, a Turkish gentleman’s hair cut, shave, and what I found more intriguing, a waxing of the nose follicles (accompanied by running watery eyes non the less!!) and a facial massage, which left the 40 something year old man in a state of total ecstasy. His son sitting next to me witness to the trade of a skilled barber, a skill I’m sure that was observed by his dad in the chopping chair as a boy, and his dad before him.
I was there to get my haircut, no nostril hair singeing, no massage and certainly no half arsed attempt of a shave, like the one I got in Cairo from an apprentice barber who had more hair on the sole of his foot than he had on his face. I wanted to a haircut, plain and simple!!
When it came to my turn, I obediently jumped into the adjustable chair, still fitted for the shorter man before me, but quickly rectified by a pump of the trusty right foot of the barber bringing it to a hugging fit for a man of my size.
The barber, a man in his 30’s, no stranger to a scissors or blade, took the command and began to lighten the load for me! The fastest metal on metal taken to a man’s head I’ve ever seen, more importantly it was my head, a head which I quite like and have grown a costume to through out the years. At one stage I closed my eyes and wished it was all over, by some miraculous twist in the story, I imagined I’d wake up in my bed thinking, ‘shit, don’t think I’ll get my hair cut today’…IF ONLY!! I’m making out as though this guy took lumps out of my head, but on the contrary, he was a master of his trade. Elegantly and skillfully working the scissors like some seasoned Parisian painter working the brush on a canvas. Every stroke with purpose and intent to achieve his final masterpiece, my new hair do!
Before I knew it, I was done and handing over the ten Euros he charged me for his services. Ten Euros!!!! On one hand I felt like some villain, on the other, I felt trialed, hung and quartered. I didn’t mind though, I came out of that lil barbers shop with a well-oiled spring in my step. Occasionally slowing down and glancing in the window reflections as one does when first leaving a barbers establishment. He even gave me some good old fashioned Dax!!
Yep I got it!!!
The ritual that is, a Turkish hair cut.