Monday, April 02, 2007

The Good-boy Haircut

The Good-boy Haircut

We will be in Okinawa another month, but much of that time will be spent on Ishigaki and Irimote Island so I need to do some shopping and take care of a few simple things like getting my hair cut.

At home in California, I usually go to the likes of “Super Cuts” for a hair cut. I’ve enjoyed the luxury of upscale salons, but for my simple blunt cut hair style, most anyplace will do. Since our arrival on Okinawa, Art has had two haircuts at “Good-boy” and when we peddle past this salon, I ask if he can make me an appointment? He has raved about this barber shop where a shampoo, head massage, hair cut, shave and a shoulder massage is $15.00. We stop in and the bewildered receptionist writes me down for a 4:00 P.M. appointment. (I look forward to the shoulder massage, and hope to avoid the shave.)

It‘s two hours before my appointment, time enough for lunch and a little shopping. Art and I eat lunch at a soba restaurant and part ways. I head for the Naha Main Place Mall to shop for gifts, but this is a mainstream mall and I don’t find much of interest to me.

The receptionist bows slightly when I enter the “Good-boy Salon” and motions for me to be seated. I sit on a cushioned bench alongside several stone faced men, a wall of magazines in front of me. Absently, I pick up the nearest magazine and flip backwards through the pages of a golf magazine. At 4:15, I am motioned to a seat, and my attending barber, spouts off a flurry of questions? I tell him that I don’t speak Japanese, make a few hand gestures and hope for the best. During my 20 minute wait, I have ascertained that this is strictly a barber shop and women are an oddity. My “barber” lifts stands of my long hair as if it were soba noodles. He cuts one strand at a time, seemingly bewildered with the length, color and texture. The hair washing is pure ecstasy, as he massages and scrubs for 10 intense minutes but the drying becomes another excruciating strand by strand procedure. An hour later, my hair perfectly styled, I exit the salon with all eyes watching in disbelief as I place a bicycle helmet upon my perfectly coiffed hair!

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