I have just returned from what I can only describe as an Epic Haircut.
Short version: the whole thing took an hour even though the haircut only took ten minutes. This barber was thorough.
Long version: as best I can remember it, the Epic Haircut Experience went something like this…
- Arrive at barbers looking like recent divorcee, heavily bestubbled with a mop-head of greying hair.
- Haircut. So far so good. Resemblance to divorcee receding.
- Barber’s attempts at internationally-agreed hairdresser conversation number three somewhat stymied by language barriers (“Days many you holiday Pokhara?”).
- Barber applies Shaving foam the thickness of a rhino hide. Amusement at new resemblance to Father Christmas.
- Shave with cut throat razor. Amusement replaced with raw fear. Try not to think about Sweeney Todd.
- Notice barber is flying low. Try not to smirk while he has my life in his hands.
- Face sprayed with plant mister. Surprise.
- Second application of shaving foam. If anything even thicker. Santa has really let himself go.
- Second shave. Skin now feels impressively smooth. I prepare to leave but no.
- Head massage begins, accompanied by theatrical knuckle cracking. Massage only in the loosest sense. More of a head battering.
- Surely it’s over now? No. Now begins the face massage.
- First white cream is slopped vigorously into my face. Not onto, into. Is it moisturiser? Particular attention is applied to my nose. Is my nose lacking moisture?
- Cream then scraped into piles with a length of cotton thread, and removed with a razor blade.
- Now orange cream is applied, and removed as before with strange cotton thread technique. Nose still receiving particular attention.
- Finally amber cream is rubbed in. Not removed this time. Face now feels like it is made of rubber. Surely it’s time to pay now?
- Another head massage. Possibly now qualifying as GBH not just ABH. Am I actually being mugged?
- Razor blade used to shave neck and hairline. Ah, finished at last.
- Shoulder massage begins. Feels pleasant. At first.
- Barber now moves onto arm massage. Each finger is pulled until it cracks. Then the whole arm. Am worried I may now resemble an orangutang.
- And to top it all off, a third and final head beating. Is he hoping concussion will prevent me from questioning the price? If so, he’s right. For some reason I tip him an extra 100 rupees as I stagger, shorn, shaven, rubber-faced and battered onto the street.
As I said, Epic Haircut.