Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Wed 3 Feb: They Cut Me

Went for my second Belgian haircut today. A different bloke did it and it took me a while to try and explain to him that I wanted the same cut as before. He didn't understand my French. Or my English. Luckily, the guy that had cut it last time was busy next to me cutting someone else's hair and was able to help out.

This wasn't the best haircut I'd ever had. For a start, when he was shaving the back the clippers kept getting caught and started nipping and pulling at my hair. For several minutes it felt as if someone was trying to yank big clumps of my hair out. I just remained silent. It's not as if he would have understood had I said anything. Then, whilst shaving around my ear he accidentally nicked the top of it. At first, as it didn't hurt, I assumed it might have been his finger grazing against me and it was also hard to see much without my glasses and not being too near the mirror.

But, every few minutes he kept getting some soft material (maybe cotton wool) and dabbing my ear. Then he soaked it a bit. He didn't apologise and I wasn't too concerned.

As we reached what I thought was the end of my haircut, he started to have a heated discussion with the other barber next to me, showing him my ear and the yellow (now slightly blood stained) towel he was using to patch me up. I was all ready to get up and pay when the other hairdresser told me to sit in his chair and then proceeded to continue cutting what was left of my hair. He also then went to work at trying to clean the (now probably dry) blood away from my ear. At this point I started to feel slightly queasy. Those who know me well will know that me and blood aren't happy bedfellows. It's not so much the sight of it that I don't particularly like, it's what it does to my overactive imagination that's the problem.

The feeling of him constantly rubbing my ear made me feel rather nauseous and faint. I could feel myself sweating profusely. The t-shirt underneath my jumper felt soaked. I just wanted to get the hell out of there and get some air. It didn't help that the sheet wrapped around me stopping hair falling onto my clothes was done up rather tightly around my neck.

I'm not sure whether he could tell that I felt unwell, but I guess the sight of my eyes struggling to stay open and my head and body falling sideways gave him a clue. I was also trying my damndest to say 'I feel pretty faint, I need to get up before I collapse,' in French. In the end, I think he understood something I mumbled and said he had finished.

He apologised profusely on behalf of his assistant (who had since been banished from the shop to god knows where) and we had a short chat. I tried to explain to him how unwell I felt and how I didn't really like the sight of blood but I'm not really sure he understood. He was more concerned with how things like this are bad for business, and when I said not to worry, these things happen (really wanted a French equivalent for 'shit happens') he looked extremely relieved and shook my hand continuously. I think he was also having a pop at his colleague, saying how unfit he was for this job.

So, no idea if I made a complete fool of myself, or if he ever knew how I felt, or if I'd inadvertently got someone the sack (although he wasn't very good at his job), but in the end I walked out having had my hair cut, twice, and my ear cut and fondled several times. I think I need to find another hairdresser.

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