It’s been over a year since I cut my hair. I had it cut last in Spain from Joaquin, the Barber of Seville. It doesn’t grow quite as fast as it once did but it certainly is long even by my standards. So, on this trip what better place to renew my annual haircut than in Nice, France.
That’s right. I choose my the timing of my haircut as if criss-crossing ancient alleyways with a fine- toothed comb. First, I need a catchy title. Who wants to hear about something so mundane as my hair getting cut. No one.
So, I have very strict criteria when it comes to shearing my silvery locks. The barbershop must be in a foreign city. It must be with a barber who’s first language is not English. I never liked the small talk I was forced to make at Great Clips in the states anyway. I prefer a man cutting my hair. It must be under $20. And, finally and most importantly, it must have a barber pole in its storefront. Simple. Right?
Well, not always. We walked all over Nice looking for barber poles. We asked our tour guide for a recommendation. For her, that was a first. Tourists typically ask for best the restaurants. But she was up for the challenge. She directed my to the yelp site which didn’t help. These were mostly “coiffures” (salons) that didn’t meet my rigorous criteria.
Just so happens we wandered off the beaten pedestrian zone when I spotted the pole. Yes, that red and blue barber pole swirling against the shop window. I went in without hesitation (or beer) and asked, Parlez vous Anglais? (Do you speak English.) He shook his head no, and I said, Bien! (good) and sat in his chair. Then with finger scissors I showed him how much to cut off and said, like Brad Pitt. He looked at me funny.
Thankfully, Hali, armed with her camera, stepped in and stopped this gung-ho barber from entirely buzzing off my precious year-old locks. Then interrupted again when my hair started looking like Lord Farquaad. I’ve had that cut before and both Hali and Carli laughed at me for months.
With comb fingers, she showed him to put some shape into the body of hair. He nodded as if he understood but it’s not quite the style he gives most of his clients. He kept chopping, combing, and brushing the hair off my neck. Then the straight edge came out and I knew I was a just minute away from getting out of that chair. A few jabs around my neck and ears and I was done.
The robe came off, the mirror put in front of my face, and I said, It’ll do. Merci.
I handed him €10(about$12). And said Merci. Out the door I was with an au rervoir (good-bye).
Stood by this barber pole for the mandatory “after” shot. I certainly got my money’s worth. The best souvenir from France that I’ll be taking home with me. By the way, souvenir is a French word which translates in English to memory. Probably the most memorable haircut experience so far.
Viola! Nice haircut Woody.