Monday, 9 June 2008
The barber is not really such an old-fashioned institution in Hania, but this barber's days are numbered, judging from the shabby shelves crammed with cups and medals showing past glories, the out-dated cosmetics and the rickety chairs which looked as though they hadn't been cleaned in a while. My son needed a haircut, and since the barber's shop was empty when we passed by (across the road from the former Italian embassy), we didn't have to wait long. We had just been to the municipal gardens where there's a children's play area, three doors away from where the barber keeps his shop.
My daughter was with me, and asked me, in light of the rules of equality, if she was going to have her hair cut too. "No, dear, only men get their hair cut here."
"I can do her too," quipped the barber, and I was relieved that I wouldn't have to take her to a salon where they'd charge us more for a coiffure.
Admittedly they weren't the best haircuts; my son's neck was nipped at the back, while my daughter's came out all crooked round the front. Maybe that's why the barber's not updating his equipment. Still, I was impressed by his perseverance: his scissors flew into the air like a pro and his white coat made him look like a scientist.
"Call that a haircut?" my husband exclaimed when I returned home at lunchtime. "He's only good for sheep shearing!"