Friday, February 20, 2009

Time For a Haircut!

So the time came to get a haircut, but where to go. My regular barber (Ann) is back home in Wisconsin, waiting for my return, and there is no way I can hold out for two more months, I'm already tripping over the ends! :-) Sarmad tells me he’s ready for a haircut too, so off we go to his local barber. Well, it isn’t like a haircut back home. 

The barber shop had five chairs in an area about the size of a single car garage and the front is completely open to the street.

The barber spoke absolutely no English so I made some motions about trimming the sides. He made a comment, smiled, and dove in. He trimmed the sides with an old motorized trimmer and a comb that came from a pile of tools on the counter and then finished it up with scissors. As he took the drape off I thought he was done so I made some more motions indicating I wanted the top thinned out.
He said something that indicated he was only half way through. Next thing I know the back of the chair was lowered to a horizontal position. More of a position to have dental work done than a haircut! A drape was spread over my chest and he finished the top while I lay prone in the chair. 

After trimming the top he put some lotion on my forehead that contained a high percentage of menthol and proceeded to give me a head massage. Very nice! Up went the back of the chair and I got a shoulder and arm massage. Some final trimming and I was done.

Now, during the haircut the barber had sprayed some water on my hair and during the massage it had dried so that I now had a spike of hair on my forehead sticking straight up. The barber handed me the comb and I tried my best to slick it down. I didn’t get too many stares at dinner so I guess it worked. And reflecting local prices the whole haircut cost me all of $1.50. 

All in all a good experience and a better haircut than I've had in many places on the road. I'll have to make one more stop here before I leave for home.

On my return from Singapore, the remains of the week was spent planning for the next three weeks. The first week I’m going to return to the east coast visiting the sites that Glen and I missed the first time, wrap up any finishing touches to the other sites. For weeks two and three I’ve planned a trip that will take us up through the interior highlands, down to the deep SW corner of Aceh, and then back along the west coast. It’s going to be a lot of driving and 15 straight days on the go, but I’ve been told that the west coast is very beautiful.

Today I'm off shopping for supplies for the next week.

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