Friday, July 10, 2009

Of Rabbits, Bees, Turkeys and a few Barbers: A Tale in Two Parts

Part the First: An Introduction and Cuts the First and Second

By way of introduction, I offer you a brief time line:

* 8th-9th century: the founding of Seville
* February 1816: the premier of Rossini's Almaviva, or the Useless Precaution - better known as the Barber of Seville.
* 1950: Warner Brothers (Looney Tunes) releases Rabbit of Seville.
2006: publication of my insightful blog posting: the Rabat of Seville.
* 2007: publication of my equally insightful blog posting: the Rabbit of Madrid.

Yes, they are all sort of interconnected and no, I don't expect anyone to actually read (or even reread) any of my older blogs. I just like to be thorough.

So. I got my haircut last week - my 3rd in Turkey. And for the record - in spite of my frequent blogs - no, I don't have a hair fetish. After all, I haven't bothered blogging about my hair since 2007 and I have had a few haircuts during that time. One might even say - in fact, I would - that I have fairly low maintenance hair. I went so far once as to suggest that it was nigh impossible for me to get a bad hair cut. O the hubris!

And then I flew to Turkey.

Cut the First:

I have not had my hair cut since before I left Italy in February and, it being April, my hair is approaching Shaggy Dog proportions. A Salon in Question (I have no clue what it's called) comes highly recommended (important) by a colleague of mine who speaks Turkish (very important) and who offers to come with me (insanely important). So off we go. Not unlike beehives salons in Morocco, it is populated by lots of twittering Helper Bees who do God-knows-what (beyond offering me tea and pick their nails) and a young King Bee with hair like a gorgon who does the styling & cutting. I find a photo in a magazine which, with the help of my translator, I explain pretty much mirrors what is on my head if you removed 3 inches of hair. King Bee nods and I am sent off to have my hair washed.

Having my hair washed, as it turned out, is a rather painful affair. I don't know why it should be so except to say that the King Bee (surprisingly he washes my hair rather than a nail-picking Helper Bee) keeps twisting my head from side to side quite abruptly. With both hands. I fear he may have permanently damaged my vertebrae.

King Bee cuts my hair and I smile mutely and gormlessly into the mirror (we share no common language) and I generally like to be encouraging. My Turkish is limited, at that time, to the words beer, thank you and stapler, so way to go King Bee! seems out of the question. I smile. Then I
notice that my translator is gone. It seems that she has an appointment at a tanning salon. No mind, King Bee appears attentive enough, has only dropped his scissors once - and besides, I have yet to get a bad haircut.

I do wish he would look at the photo though.

King Bee lays aside his scissors - is he done? There isn't much hair on the floor - and rummages about in a drawer. He takes out a hairbrush. What doe
s he need a brush for? I wonder. I haven't used a hairbrush since I was in grade school and even then it was my mother who used one on me. An uneasy noisome feeling begins to swell in my stomach as I realize that it is a small round brush and, brandishing it like a scimitar, he is coming towards me. Before I can scream (which I am stupidly too polite to do), he is back-rolling my 2 inch hair. I look like Don King. O the horror!

Where the fuck is my colleague/translator?

With super-human strength, I am able to swallow my politeness and scr
eam interject. I frantically mime (recall that my Turkish vocabulary is beer, thank you and stapler) that I don't want my hair back-rolled but dried forward with his fingers. Or my fingers. Just let me dry my own freaking hair. He understands only that I want my hair dried forward and solicitously continues drying my almost dried hair in the opposite direction causing it to stand up and dry completely vertical. Hair wax is produced and he then assiduously styles my hair so that the back is, if possible, more vertical than ever while the front and sides look like I have just walked through a wind tunnel, with the wind coming from due west.

I am distraught but know that once I get home, I can wash it and style it myself.

Distraught, I go home, wash it and style it myself.

It is a bona fide shitty haircut. I will have to take scissors to it and redo the bangs and sides. My efforts are an improvement but just barely. My head is ugly. I console myself with 2 facts:
1) My bona fide shitty haircut only cost 25 lira, or about 11 euros.
2) It will grow back.

3) I will never go back there.

Cut the Second:

I go back there.

My hair is yet again approaching Shaggy Dog proportions and I have been unsuccessful in finding a new hairdresser who speaks a modicum of English and who can simulate a haircut from a photograph. My translator/colleague who, I suspect, is a little in love with King Bee offers to take me back there. I don't have the heart to tell her that I hate him and his stupid salon because she has cancer (I figure she's had enough bad news lately) and because she is a little in love with King Bee. I think, with her at my side (in theory), perhaps my second visit will be better.
It is not. Nor is she by my side. What is the point in having a translator/colleague if they keep disappearing?

To be fair, King Bee remembers that I don't like my hair rolled backwards off of my head. Beyond that, cast your eyes up and begin reading at Cut the First. Stop after reading - but not before -
I will never go back there.

Cut the Third:

I do not go back there.

My hair is yet again approaching Shaggy Dog proportions and I have been unsuccessful in finding a new hairdresser who speaks a modicum of English and who can simulate a haircut from a photograph ...

To be continued.


Snowflake said...

Can you hear me laughing? I'm crying too! Kinda like when you poured beer on Randu....Pleeeezzee send pictures!

This Cat's Abroad said...

Do you really think I had photos taken???

Anonymous said...

Welcome to my shop, let me cut your mop...

Anonymous said...

You must be a masochist to go through all of that just for a hair cut. Just give your better-half a pair of scissors and tell him to go to work on your head.

This Cat's Abroad said...

If it weren't for the fact that I'd be stared at here unmercifully, I'd just shave my head.



Grow a beard; that will distract people's vision from your mop.

Mister Norris

Anonymous said...

Mr. Norris had the perfect solution to your problem.

Sara said...

You know, you really put me in two minds... One, I can't wait to go back to Turkey, and two... EEEEK!!!
At least the lokum with fresh cream is good. You could have some to console you after your haircut.