Sunday, 23 September 2007

Hair cut

Within about two weeks of getting a hair cut I am already fed up with the way my hair has grown back. It doesn't grow uniformly and it is fuzzy and lumpy if I don't moderate its waywardness with gel or soap (I used butter once when I couldn't find anything else). I suppose I shouldn't complain being as the signs of receding and thinning are there for all to see; especially my son who points it out whenever he can. On Friday I finished work early and drove home round the edge of Bradford looking for a barber's. I saw the common red/white shop fascia and spiral sign before I could read the words 'Men's hairdresser' on the window. I guessed that the shop was run by people whose first language wasn't English because the shop was called ' Top Men!'. (and it was in the heart of an almost entirely Pakistani area of Bradford.) None of your crummy cut/trim/hair plays on words there, just a slightly unusual choice of phrasing with a hint of campness about it. It reminds me of the fags you can buy in Brazil. Even the really shitty ones are called things that are supposed to resonate of European (especially English) sophistication but all too often they get it slightly wrong so you end up smoking fags called 'Brighton' or ' Buckingham Palace'.

Anyway, I went in and waited a bit till the barber had finished some other guy's hair. Eventually I went and sat in the chair while the barber fiddled around a bit. He looked nervous actually and it wasn't long before I realised it was because he hardly spoke any English and, presumably, wasn't used to non Pakistani clients. He grinned at my reflection in the mirror and asked :'Haircut?' I smiled and replied: 'err no, two pounds of potatoes please.' He looked totally bemused, not least because he knew the word potatoes but didn't really get the rest of the sentence. I decided that stupid jokes were going to get me nowhere and tried to explain what I wanted. He nodded enthusiastically throughout my explanation but it was clear that it was a bit of an effort. In the end he just cut a bit off, put my glasses back on my face, showed me and said 'cut more?' to which I replied 'Yes.' We continued like that til I got (roughly) what I wanted. It's as good as pretty much any cut I have had recently. I asked him how much and he said '£3.50' I couldn't believe it: I gave him a 2 quid tip and was still 5 quid better off than if I'd had it done at my regular place in London.

Afterwards I did worry that maybe the only price he could say in English was £3.50 but dismissed this. I will definitely go there again.

(By the way, I waffled a bit here so that I wouldn't have to see that diabolical picture of Berbatov when I logged on.)

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