HairCuttery, Italian Style
Ryan was in desperate need of a haircut. He has been in need of a haircut since before we left, so three weeks into our stay in Italy he really needed a haircut.
We started by asking for recommendations in the office. We asked all the men. We got answers like:
I don’t. (In retrospect, this should have been obvious)
I get my haircut in the U.S.
I get my haircut when I go to Switzerland.
I drive 3 hours to the U.S. Commissary in Naples, where I get my hair cut for $7. (but pay 40 Euro in tolls)
My wife cuts my hair.
We staved off the emergency for a week or so by performing emergency trimming in our hotel bathroom with a beard trimmer, but eventually had to admit that we just needed to try to find a barber. Yesterday, we finally gave in.
We had remembered seeing a barber somewhere along our bus route, so we meandered our way along the bus route until we found the tell-tale international sign of a barber – a barber pole! It’s a good thing that was there, since there were no other hints. There was a woman standing outside, just sort of looking at us. So, we asked if it was open, and she said yes. She then pulled aside the hanging pipe cleaners (or at least, that’s what they looked like) and the curtain, and waved us into the 1970s. Avocado colored floors, old banana colored chairs … really quite lovely.
We explained that Ryan wanted his hair “piu’ corto, dapertutto” – “A little shorter, everywhere”. Ryan is not particularly picky about his hair, so that should have been sufficient. Anyway, Ryan sits in the chair, and the 60 year old barber began his masterpiece. It was all done by scissors. And when the barber stood back, removed the drape, and Ryan started to get up … it wasn’t over. He had Ryan bend forward, to have his hair washed – with all of the water flowing into his eyes. Then the scissors came back out. Then the hair dryer, and the round brush – that the barber used to curl Ryan’s hair. Yes. Really. Then the scissors again. Then some blue stuff in an unlabeled bottle – which seemed like aftershave … but probably wasn’t. Ryan ended up with a hair helmet.
The most expensive hair cut Ryan has ever had in his whole life (30 Euros, ~$42), and the next morning his hair was standing up all around the part, the sides were much longer than usual, and much more uneven.
I got to practice my Italian with the barber’s wife. So it wasn’t a total loss. An hour of talking to an Italian in DC cost me about $42 too.