It inevitably had to happen, and it happened today. My hair got too long and I got fed up with it. So I went and got it cut. I have heard horror stories about this. My hair is curly-esque, Japanese hair is straight. At any one time there are only about 2 million non-Japanese people in Japan. It doesn’t take one mathematically inclined to deduce that the odds of a barber having ever worked on curly-esque hair is pretty low. Now anyone that sees me on a day to day basis understands that I don’t particularly care much about what I look like. But I am an interjector by conversational trade. I am in the conversation and I am out. Silence, zap, pow, silence. Rinse and repeat. I like being able to live in anonymity when I want, all be it a slightly disheveled and not color matching anonymity. So the fear of walking out with half a head of hair was a bit disconcerting. But being the clever rabbit I am, I went to the same barber that Dan went to, hoping to get one of the guys that works on Dan. Dan comes out looking no more goofy than usual and that was MY aim in this hair cutting adventure.
I go in and feebly speak Japanese. It is okay that I don’t have an appointment. I sit down and there is a lot of gesturing and saying of English words in Katakana style “Paruto” (part) plus lots of gestures. He gets the gist. Then he cuts my hair. There are a lot of cover things he tucks into my shirt, way more than just the full neck cape thing in America. There is a warm towel as well. The Japanese have really mastered and use Warm Towel Technology™ very well. He cuts away with a variety of scissors, I don’t have my glasses on so I don’t exactly know what is going on here, and then indicates around the ears. I say yes, he cuts more. Then, a tense moment, my glasses come back on and I look. Wow I look good. I am happy. He says something to me in Japanese. I am so happy I look good I just say Okay! Bam! I am on my back experiencing more of what Hot Towel Technology™ has to offer. Then he gives me a shave with a straight razor. It was rather pleasant. Then they offer to shampoo my newly cut hair – I decline. Then they offer to put stuff in my hair – I decline. Then they offer to blow dry my hair – I accept. Afterward a guy gets my coat and helps me into it. I felt like a VIP. It will be hard to adapt when I start getting my hair cut by Chris again. I will be snapping my fingers and yelling “Zach get my coat…”
It was a bit pricey by American standards of a haircut, it was $35 (3500 yen). But that is about par for the basic haircut here.