Friday, February 19, 2010

A Winning Cut.

One of my favorite things to do in a new or strange town is to visit the barber for a haircut. Especially overseas, barbers have their own rituals and styles that continue to fascinate me.

I once had my head shaved on the beach in Micronesia by an old man with palsied hands while he told stories about cutting hair in the Navy during WWII. I had my hair expertly trimmed by a young guy in Cambodia; he gave me a nice neck rub with the haircut and charged me $2. In DC I got my haircut by a guy who claimed to be retired from cutting hair in the Senate and later the Supreme Court. I've already written about one haircut I've had here, but I had another fun one this weekend.

I relaxed in the chair while the Pakistani barber clipped and cut my hair. In the corner on a small TV two local soccer teams were tied in the second half. I watched the transposed image of the game in the mirror while the barber deftly trimmed the hair along my neckline with a straight razor.

Suddenly, a goal was scored. I don't know which team it was, but it didn't seem to matter. My barber put down the razor he was using and threw his hands up into the air. The other barber next to him did the same and they ran out the door and shouted into the street. When they returned to the shop they both made sure to shake my hand while I offered congratulations to their team.

Then, as quickly as it started, the festivities ended and both barbers returned to the business at hand. My guy finished up my cut by giving me a head rub and neck massage.

I thanked them both on my way out the door.

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