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Barbershop: Can I get a line-up please?

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Getting a haircut in a new place can so often lead to troubles. There are countless possibilities of how it might turn out. The fears of leaving the chair with patches on the side of your head are more than enough to keep you looking shaggy until you go back to your usual barber. But for me, I decided to take a chance- and this time in a place so foreign to me – a Jordanian Barbershop.

I asked the taxi driver where to go for a haircut and he dropped me off at the corner of an intersection in front of a tiny two person barbershop. Walking inside, I was immediately approached with “Marhaba” – Arabic for Hello. In my response, “Ahlain” – Arabic for Hello – I proceeded to ask “speak English?”I was relieved when the response was “Yes, have a seat.”

I sat in the chair and was told that the haircut would only cost 2 JD (Jordanian Dinars). During the cut, I found that the barber was Jordanian and of Palestinian descent and that he was also Christian. (He had a tattoo of a little cross on his hand). Everything about the haircut was similar in practice – I was asked if I wanted it cut to a 1 or a 0 (length). I said 0. There was a subtle difference in standard though: most barbershops I go to typically do a line up where they take a straight razor and go over the entire haircut to make the cut pop with accuracy. This did not happen. Instead, I was asked if I wanted a facial. Being a journalist, I said, yes.

The barber put a cream on my face that started to burn. When he was finished he said, “Leave on for 10minutes.” – and proceeded to cut another guy’s hair in the two person barbershop (talk about multi-tasking.) Despite my reservations about leaving this cream on for the full 10 minutes, I decided to leave it and “embrace” it’s full effect. When the 10 minutes were up, I went over to a sink and washed my face. Needless to say, I was pleased with the results…


Written by ryanpaynesblog

May 23, 2011 at 11:49 am

Posted in Culture

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