Indian Barbershops

5 Dec

I timidly entered the barber palace in Palolem, Goa being pushed by Astrid. “Your hair looks awful, you need a haircut.” She had been saying for a few weeks. Well here we were, my first Indian haircut and shave- I had to go through with it now…All I could see was the barber’s hand slipping during my shave and him running the straight razor across my neck, decapitating me instantly-or at least making a small nick with a lot of blood.

I sat in the plastic chair and waited for the next barber to become available. The television was blaring some old Hindi movie from the 70s, the smell of cheap aftershave hung in the air, and I watched people as they would come into the shop and use a comb or hairbrush and then walk out. One man came in, borrowed a pair of scissors from the barber, and then proceeded to look into the mirror right next to me while clipping his nose hairs!

Then it was my turn…I sat down in the chair and the barber asked me how I wanted my haircut. He grabbed the clippers and began to buzz my neck and hair and then he moved on to scissors (the same ones that were up the other guy’s nose a minute ago, but hey…whatever.) He finished and it looked pretty good, a little short, but still not bad. Then came the terror as he grabbed the straight razor and put in a new blade. He rubbed the shaving cream into my face and then lathered it with the brush. I knew this was it…I was going to die.

Shockingly, I didn’t die. In fact, it was the closest shave I have ever had in my life! And all for 70 Rupees, the equivalent of $1.75 US.  The shave lasted for almost two days before I started getting stubble again. If you’ve never had the opportunity to go to a real Indian barber then you really need to make it a point to get into one. You won’t be sorry.

Oh and by the way, don’t go into the ocean right after you get a shave…OUCH!



2 Responses to “Indian Barbershops”

  1. Sihaya December 7, 2007 at 12:15 am #


  2. Adriana December 7, 2007 at 5:25 pm #

    Weren’t you glad the scissors weren’t used to cut some other bodily part’s hair?
    Or maybe they were…


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