Another haircut, another massacre
About two months ago, I told a little story, recounting my first ever haircut here in Asia. I had gone in wanting a trim and left with a pseudo-buzz. Nary a pair of scissors touched my head that day; when I gazed in the mirror back in the hostel, my head looked like a forest that had been cleared and abandoned.
Well, the nice thing about hair is that it grows back. And the nice thing about that clipperiffic buzzjob way back in July is that, until recently, I hadn’t needed another one.
A funny thing about Taiwan (and again, I’m guessing, most of Asia) is that you can get a haircut almost anywhere here. As I’ve said before, there are little barbershops and salons all over the place. But you can also get a trim at an MRT (subway) station, or even at Carrefour, the local supermarket.
Well, it just so happened that last night, I went to Carrefour to get some groceries. You see, Adam and I are finally getting settled in our new apartment – we now have a working stove, and dishes. And so we’re starting to cook a little at home and not have to eat out at every meal (even though eating out here is pretty cheap, for the most part).
So anyway, I walked into Carrefour and made my way toward the grocery section. But on my way I passed the little barber area. I poked my head in and figured “What the hell?” This is never the attitude you should have before letting an Asian barber touch your hair, I’ve decided.
I showed her (just like last time) how much I wanted taken off, by holding my thumb and forefinger less than a half-inch apart. She nodded and then motioned to ask me if I wanted the clippers. Tearing up and vehemently shaking my head back and forth, I pointed to the scissors. She was cool with that. She picked up the scissors and began to go to town.
Apparently, the thumb-and-forefinger method is not the best way to show length to these people. In my now two barber experiences, they’ve looked at my thumb and forefinger, said ok, and then proceeded to cut as much as they damn well pleased. So yeah, yesterday night I sat horrified, watching this woman in the mirror cut off long swaths of hair in record time. Seriously, she cut my hair about three-times shorter than I wanted, but the speed and efficiency with which she did it was actually quite impressive. Had it been somebody else, I would have stood up and applauded this woman and her dancing sheers. Instead, I had to reach up and couple of times and thrust my hand in harm’s way – between her flying scissors and my head – and say that’s enough, please, I’d still like some hairs on my temples.
In the end, it was like my scooter accident – the experience seemed much longer than it actually was, but the damage was swift and noticeable. The haircut couldn’t have lasted more than 7 minutes, but when it was all over and her lightning sheers were finally laid to rest, I was left with the shortest hair I’ve had since 3rd grade (when I foolishly demanded a flat-top… ahh, the 80s). Should I be called into battle anytime soon, I’ll be able to skip the barber part.
But, like the skin burned off of my leg in the wreck, my hair will also grow back. This is but a temporary setback. Maybe I’ll just close my eyes and cut my own hair from now on.
After the jump, please enjoy some photos of my shorn scalp.