This is not a catch-up article, rather all happened today 17 August. Couldn’t help to capture and blog it …..
For the first time in my entire life, and that is almost 66 years, my facial hair is longer than my head hair ….!
Agreed, I do not have too many head-hair left, however even these disappearing bits always had been longer that my facial hair, which for the past four month has been supplemented by a full beard (well still growing and tightly cropped).
Why? .. or how did this happen?
Well, let me go back a little: going to a hairdresser always has been a somewhat ‘split’ enjoyment:
- On one hand I love being kind of pampered. Somebody, almost virtuously, apply sharp scissors all around my head, does some combing, more scissoring and all with great skill and care. Makes me feel being a little pampered.
- One the other hand I always moan about the expense for a task that I could almost do myself with a pair of clippers, a mirror and little, or ‘reduced’ carefactor what I look like afterwards. The clippers are an appropriate instrument, as I have a straightforward number 3 all-round. Onlhy, if in the hands of a professional coiffeur I ask for a number 3 on the sides and a number five on the top. I also ask this expert to ‘go easy’ on my remaining hairs on top of my scalp.
This #3=#5 cannot be applied with the clippers in the hands of a small selection of non-professional, that includes myself. In these cases the aim is to ask for a single number, i.e. #4 all-round and being prepared to accept a ‘reduced’ appearance.
So on this trip I knew I would be in for a haircut, despite seeing my barber for my Montmorency-pensioner-special deal before I left. During the trip whilst in Novosibirsk, I had some time on my hand. Several times did I walk past a stylish looking barber store, and the decision grew in my mind to use them to clip my beard. Being alone for such a long time, the pampering aspect grew in importance thus had lured me into this action. I also counted on that Novosibirsk can’t be too expensive. My compadre and moto-travel companion at this time, Neil, equally wanted to get a proper head-shave. This made my decision easier and in both of us went.
Whilst it was inexpensive for me (and I had two coffees) I walked out looking like a really old man . An extremely short cropped beard! To make matters/looks worse during a moment of being relaxed and dreamy, half-asleep in the barber’s chair, the Novosibirsk expert had also clipped my moustache (moo/moh??) way too short!! Now I looked like Solzhenitsyn, even represented my age-group extremely well – way too well. What a bummer! especially not being able to revert this unfortunate outcome.
From this moment all my phantasies about being pampered and coming away looking like a million dollars went down the gurgler. Instead I maximised the chance to hide my face inside my full-face helmet. As this is not a good idea when going shopping, in the end I had to give I to my Solzhenitsyn look alike.
Months went past and my head-hair, which got away scot-free in Novosibirsk, quietly grew longer. The full beard was growing and I cropped it at any mirror opportunity so the moh, ever-so-slowly, started to appear a little longer. Even to-date it is still no good and I can’t wait until it has re-grown to an acceptable length.
Moreover my head looked bad. Imagine helmet-hair when you don’t have a full head of hair in the first place. Norman Gunston could have been my brother. Cleary confirmed each time I slipped of my head-gear. Even violent rubbing of my entire head, straight after putting the helmet down, didn’t achieve any positive results in the looking-half-decent department. I rather looked like4 Jerry Lewis in The Mad Professor.
“This hair must be cut, cut by a professional!” became my mantra.
Hitting Budapest, a European town, filled me with positive anticipation to find a decent hair-professional and get it down: option # 3 and #5, or perhaps #4 all-round to avoid confusion.
When exploring the city my gaze not only aimed for the wonderful sights, old building facades and else, but also to spot a hairdressing saloon. Fortunately many signs here are bi-lingual: Hungarian and English. Therefore spotting an appropriate establishment wasn’t too difficult. I even walked into one, but the waiting time was too long, so I deferred. Finally, today, my last full day in Budapest, finding a coiffeur close bye was on top of my to-do list. And I did find one! A chain of stores named ‘Bio-Hair’. Not sure what the ‘bio’ meant, but ‘hair’ was good enough for me. In I went. Jackpot!! nobody waiting. Two young girls at the checkout, deeply immersed in a -no doubt – professional discussion. One, perhaps behaving a bit more ‘senior’ sported rather long, spikey green fingernails (couldn’t help noticing but did not comment).
I inquired about a haircut pour moi, one length all-round (didn’t want to make it too complicated). 790 Hungarian money units it woukd set me back. Hungary operates almost a dual-valuta: their own, the Hungarian Forint (HUF) and the Euro. Even US dollars are still welcome. 790 HUF are about $A 3.80 – my kind of price.
I stated that I wanted a one number all-round cut and if they had a same/similar system to what I have been used to in Oz: numbers of length. Yes, they did and I confirmed a number 4 for me.
I took my position in the chair the young lass started to cut …. Hola! Ohh so short it seemed. “Is this really a number 4” I asked. “Yes it was!” was her response and she continued applying the clippers. Still, it looked rather very short, so I asked again. Same answer …
When she laid down the clippers and applied her scissors for trimming the edges, against my nature (naahh, not really) but a little reluctantly as I didn’t want to insult her, I grabbled for the clippers. Guess what!?!! Numero uno, # 1 clearly embossed on the black plastic insert which clips onto the cutting sheers. WTF!!
A temporarily stop in her cutting action, and the green-fingernailed lass came and joined the dilemma discussion, well a dilemma for me. I asked her to complete the cut and took the black plastic #1 clip-on thingo to the reception/check-out desk. A short discussion developed about the number on the clipper versus the length of the hair cut measured in mm. The latter was the young lass’ argument. Well, this black plastic insert had clearly a #1 on it. In the corner there was also a – presumably – hair-length achieved: 3 mm. As my cutting-non-expert had argued with 4 mm, her argument clearly was 1mm besides the point.
In the end, I did not pay at all for this botched cut. I did however ask if I do not pay, would the cost for this cut come out of the wage of my hair-analphabet. “No” it wouldn’t I was assured.
So now I ‘saved’ four bucks, did not get a number four, look definitely bald and won’t have to worry about helmet hair for at least two month.
Still not sure if this is a good outcome, but I will have to live with it.
I think I am fishing for sincere compliments how great that looks ………
My trust in overseas hair professionals has shrunk to less than 1 out of 10.
It is staggering how complicated communication can be and subsequently leading to unwanted results even you thought you know how to express yourself clearly. I will have to work on it …..