So for the second time in the Philippines, I got a haircut. A very mundane activity I hear you say. Yes indeed, but it still has its charms and excitements.
The first time I went, I hadn’t had a hair cut in about 3 months, a very long time for me as my hair tends to make me look like a member of the Jackson 5 within a few weeks of cutting it.
But I arrived in the Philippines and of course it’s hot and humid and I really needed to do something. So on the way back from the market, after passing in front of the hairdresser salon on many occasions, I finally took the plunge and stepped in…”Exclusively His”.
First thing I noticed was how low the ceiling was. I’m tall by any standards and I’d say that by Pinoy’s standards I’m like a tall giant. No my head wasn’t touching the ceiling but I had to duck to avoid getting my face lacerated by the fans blades.
I sat down and then started to get a bit nervous about the whole idea. How would I communicate what I wanted? I’m usually picky with my hair but I’m utterly incapable of giving a meaningful description of what I want. Usually I just go something like “longer on top and shorter on the side, but not too short…”. Very useful…. So with my accent, and English being both mine and the hairdresser’s second language, I was wondering what I would end up with.
But it was a nice surprise in the end! I really liked it.
So I went back today.
Today, as the nervousness of the first experience was not there, I could pay more attention to the place and take in more of the surroundings.
First, I noticed the music in the background. Some kind of 1987 organ melody like a MIDI sound (if you know what that is). The guys in the saloon seemed to be singing a few words here and there but mostly humming away. And that’s when I noticed that they were not just randomly singing, they were in fact reading he lyrics on the TV screen behind me. Videoke!! The national hobby for Pinoys. Lyrics were definitely of the cheezy side of romantic, some would say so cheesy it should be illegal. So far, nothing too unusual though, in the Philippines videoke can happen anytime, anywhere.
But the kicker was the video actually playing. It was WWF videos…as in wrestling, not cute pandas. Yes, guys in spandex pretending to elbow each other in the face over and over again, throwing their opponent over the third rope and “hitting” him in the back of the head with a chair .
This is not the worst though. That particular video, the same fight, played again and again and again but never until the end of the fight because the guys in the salon were switching to a new song before the end. So I never saw the end of the fight. No big deal of course but after watching the same fight about 15 times, I was mildy curious about what happened after one of the wrestlers popped out of a coffin…
As an aside, I liked the haircut I got this time, but I got much more than a hair cut today, I got a glimpse, of what goes on day to day in a Philippino hair salon.