Little House In Ise

Assembly Line Haircuts
September 11, 2006, 15:07
Filed under: Expat, Family, Japan | Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Ray and I have been desperately in need of haircuts. Fortunately, Kokoro and I had discovered a barbershop near where I’ve been hijacking an internet connection. We went on the weekend. The place had that black and white marble interior with brushed titanium equipment giving it an overused “cool” techno look.

Ray and I walked in to a chorus of, “Irashai” and were told to go to widely separated seats. I ignored the offer and took Ray to his chair. I didn’t want him to feel abandoned and I wanted to tell the barber how to cut his hair. The first thing I was asked was if Ray should have a shave… He’s a tough little seven-year-old but I don’t think he needs to shave quite yet. Besides, those straight razors scare _ME_! I got him set up and they arranged a nearby chair for me and the assembly lines started rolling.

The first fellow did from my shoulder level up to my ears and then called for backup. Another dude stepped in and began the fade phase of the cut. After the foundation was laid the cleaner was called in and he began working over my whole head with tiny snips here and there, occasionally applying talcum powder to what was left of my hair. The kid with the knife came next. He did the neck, sideburns and ear shaving portion moving a little bit too quickly for my comfort. At this point I was transferred to the shampoo which, though skilled, didn’t really stand out as anything special. The masseuse moved in after my head was steamed and, for the finish, a guy, who looked a lot like Mao Tse Tung in a black smock, came in for the bland finale. He kicked up a haze of fine hair so he really was doing something back there but for the life of me I can’t think of what.

Ray’s experience was different in detail but over-all pretty much the same. I don’t think he liked the lollipop.


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