Friday, February 12, 2010

Japanese barbers man, they're crazy.

Today I decided to get a haircut. It was getting all unruly, and I wanted to look spic and span for my adventures at the Canadian embassy and Nanotech 2010 expo next week. I have heard from certain sources I hold in very high esteem that Japan is the best place in the world to get a haircut, though it costs you either an arm or a leg or 40 bucks. I asked my French dorm buddy what the deal was. He said he found a place for 3000 yen (36 bucks or so) by the nearest train station.

I went to the station and walked around. There must have been like 6 hair salons/barbers within a block of the station. Three had stained glass windows and/or fancy brushed stainless steel signs, one was on the second floor, and one was called "Hair Vert." Luckily my kanji has advanced to the point that I can read "University Student Discount" on the window of the last one, so I went in there.

I was pretty proud of myself for the first few minutes in the place. Successfully said I wanted a haircut, successfully answered how long it had been since my last haircut. Successfully warned the barber: "amari mijikaku kiranaide kudasai", or "Don't cut it too short, dude". Even successfully understood and answered the first few smalltalk questions the guy asked me: "So, where are you from?", "Your Japanese is pretty good, how long have you been here?", and even "The olympics are in Canada, aren't they?".

Then I hit a brick wall. I don't know any comparatives! I can't say shorter, I can't say less short. I can't even say front or back. So I descend into an awkward sign language to try to get my message across and stop this guy from giving me a mullet.

Low and behold, it all works out. About 8 towels, 3 capes, 2 shampoos, and one massage later, I'm lookin good. And only 950 yen. Bargain. I said no to the shave though. I don't trust a Japanaman so close to my jugular.

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