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Saturday, 20 January 2007

Not manly enough

Every day, I walk past a barber shop. It was established in 1940 and probably was meant to look old-fashioned then. They have not altered the look since, as far as I can tell. Barber chairs, green tiles, big mirrors, it radiates masculinity like the scent of aftershave. The prices are posted outside for hair cuts, cur and wash, cut wash and shave, etc. A cut is just 15€. "I'm going to get my hair cut there." I announced to Cola as we walked the dog by a few days ago, "but I'm going to wait until I can take a shower first."

Mole removal has meant that for four days or so, I could not take a shower. But today I could. Huzzah. Right afterwards, I took the dog for her morning walk and then headed to the barber shop.

"Kann ik dir helpe?" asked the barber.

"I'd like a hair cut."

"Only herr."

"What if I get a man's cut?"

A woman sitting in a chair getting her very young son for a clip intervened to translate. "They only cut men's hair."

"I want a man's haircut."

She and the barber conferred. All the barber shop was looking at me, some smiling at the clueless foreigner. "No, they only do men's hair."

I did not push the point that there's no actual difference between my hair and a man's hair (or at least a young teen boy's hair. I said "ok" and left, feeling pissed off.

If I can't use the women's restroom without stares and hostility, I should be allowed access to barber shops, damnit.

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