Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Getting a Haircut

The last thing I did in Coralville at the end of our Road Trip was, strangely, a haircut.  In the six years I lived there, I established a great relationship with a salon with inexpensive, quick, no-nonsense men's haircuts.  Could I find something similar in a new city, country, and continent?

After six weeks here, I was on the job market and needed a trim to get back to fighting form.  I saw a barber shop in Donnybrook- complete with a red, white, and blue barber pole!  I knew that would be my first try.  Going in, I wasn't sure what to expect.  These are the kinds of social activities that have the potential to be very approachable and easy or foreign and unfamiliar feeling.  Luckily, Ireland is enough like America that even situations that are foreign aren't cripplingly so.  Usually this just leads to some frustration for our hosts and embarrassment for me.

"Do they use the same sizes of clippers here?"  "What is a 'Dry Cut' that I see on the sign?"  "Will I get some crazy Euro-haircut here?"  "What is a crazy Euro-haircut?  Guess I've never seen one here, so I shouldn't worry too much..."

These and more thoughts, questions, doubts, and hopes went through my mind as I locked up my bike and strolled in to the barber shop.  I was incredibly relieved as soon as I stepped in.  "This will be just like a barber shop at home!" I thought.  Familiar sights were all around.  There was the barber, with familiar-looking tools.  There was the swivel-chair, with a customer getting a haircut similar to what I was hoping for, newspapers and magazines for waiting clients, most happily, there was the television tuned to the 24-hour sports channel showing sports highlights narrated by men and women behind desks in smartly-cut suits and a computer-animated moving background.

When my turn came up, I described my haircut to the barber, who even used the same clipper guard size!  I got a great haircut and a nice chat about my transition to the new neighborhood country.  What were the differences?  I found out that a dry cut is just a simple haircut without a shampoo for men.  The men's magazines and sports entertainment were, of course, of the European persuasion.  Most of the television highlights were those of rugby and English soccer.  I haven't been bitten by those two sports yet, and I fear I may never get into them.  Until then, I am stuck watching American football, basketball, and baseball games on replay or very late at night.  Good thing I really enjoy Hurling and Gaelic Football, both of which start in the Spring.

After the whole experience, it felt good to feel more secure about one more of those "little necessary things" that can be so intimidating to me- but only if I let them!

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