Friday, October 28, 2011

Pol Pot’s Clippers

Entry for the contest "Indochina in your eyes"!

Holidays can be really hard work, so after a fairly busy week and a big day at the temples I am about ready for a day off to relax, do the laundry and get a haircut. Around the corner we find a laundry and drop the washing in making sure we settle on a price which was fair at $2 a kilo. Just down the road is a barber shop with an old dude cutting hair and I think this is the spot for me, it should be nice and cheap. I walk in and do the sign language for a head and face clip and asking the old barber how much? He just smiles and gently pushes me towards the chair, I ask again how much and he just smiles and wraps the apron around my neck. I look at this man in the barber mirror and see the wise old smile on his face and get the distinct feeling that this man understands more than he makes out and I am going to get fully stitched up here. He pulls this old pair of hand operated clippers out of a drawer and proceeds to start clipping my hair clip, clip, clip, bit by bit. These clippers are that old I am sure he must have cut Pol Pot’s hair with them 40 years ago.  After about an hour the clip is finally finished, he brushes me off, unwraps me and as I stand up he sticks his hand out and says with a smile“ that’ll be $10 thank you” in perfectly good English.

Jo and the kids who have been sitting in the shop the whole time are laughing their heads off. We all know that I have just paid this wily old barber 2 days wages for a 1 hour haircut. But I figure because I haven’t paid for a haircut in over 15 years I am in front anyway. I also say that hair is overrated at the best of times, if your not paying for a haircut or shampoo or something you’ve gotta wash it, comb it, brush it and look at it in the mirror. So obviously hair is a complete waste of time and money.