Kudos to The Humble Barber for yesterday’s haircut experience.
At about 2:40pm I suddenly realized the time, and that I had an appointment for a haircut at 3. I was in the car 5 minutes later and with the help of the Hillsborough Bridge Raceway managed to walk in their door on Kent St. at 3 on the nose. By the looks of the staff standing around in a circle, they expected me to be a no show.
In years past I would take advantage of my time getting a haircut to practice various Chinese language phrases or listen to the banter of the other customers in the shop; it was a great way to gain some insight into what is important to people outside of my usual social circle, or to find out where the latest and greatest restaurant is. But generally I find getting a haircut a chore, and prefer to go and be finished in as short a time as possible. With the exception of language practice, I seldom have the inclination to talk. Some barbers here on the other Island try to engage in conversation, younger ones especially, who use unique difficult to understand language full of adjectives. After a few concise replies, they often give up, figuring I am unfriendly. The ordeal often leaves us both uncomfortable.
It would seem though, that I have found my haircut nirvana. During the whole time I was in the chair at The Humble Barber yesterday, the barber didn’t once attempt to engage me in idle banter (in a previous visit another barber admitted that she didn’t like people). Also, she didn’t discuss hair styling – in Taiwan this always frustrated me, as barbers would always give themselves lofty titles such as “artist” and yet would rely on me to tell them the best look for my big head. What am I paying all this money for if I am doing all the “art?” Lastly, she positioned my chair so that I didn’t have to continuously look at myself in the mirror, another pet peeve, and instead could look out at all the curious characters on Kent St. In the end she performed the big reveal by turning my chair around to explain my new do.
All in all it took less than 15 minutes and I was out the door on Kent at 3:15 dodging the smokers crowded outside of the Tim Hortons.