Monday, September 8, 2014

The Barbershop's Tarantula.

Back in the early 1960's, when dinosaurs still roamed the Earth, I was a teenager and my dad was in his early 40's. For reasons I could not comprehend at the time, my dad wore his hair very short in a style we called a crew cut. Those were the days when I was longing to grow my hair like the Fab Four, and I just couldn't understand why he would intentionally have his hair cut that short.

Years later, when I began to lose my hair, I began to see why he had his hair cut the way he did. Nothing looks sillier than a balding man trying to wear his remaining hair long. Not even Benjamin Franklin could pull it off.

For several years, I've worn my hair as short as you can possibly wear it without actually shaving my head.The barbers use a "zero" setting on their clippers for me.In the U.S., my wife would cut my hair, until the blades on the clippers wore out and we couldn't find replacements. I didn't want to purchase new clippers because I knew they wouldn't work in Philippines without my buying another adapter. Also, haircuts are cheap enough here, so buying clippers isn't worth the time or money.

When I arrived, it was just a matter of finding a barber. The first one I went to was near Super Lee's on Perdices St. The shop was a bit upscale, with the man cutting hair for both men and women. He did an adequate job; I mean, cutting my hair isn't rocket science. The cost, without tip was 100 Piso. As I recall, I may have tipped him twenty.

120 piso isn't a lot of money. At today's exchange rate, it's about $2.86. Most guys, I suppose, would be satisfied paying less than $3 for a haircut; I was too, until I learned that my father-in-law was paying 40 pisos each to have his grandsons' hair cut. The barber was doing a good job on the boys, and I could no longer see paying 100 or 120 for something I might get for 40.

Yesterday after Mass, my wife and I, along with our son and my wife's youngest sister, went into Dumaguete for lunch and a bit of shopping. My son and I both needed a haircut and my wife wanted us to go down to the hair salon that we have gone before. I told her that I had seen a barber shop nearby on our last trip into town where the haircuts were only 40 PHP. I couldn't remember the exact location but it was not difficult to find.

Not only does this particular barbershop have cheap haircuts, but they also sell new and second hand digital cameras. I don't really see the connection, but you know, anything for a Buck.

On a table in the waiting area, there sits a small, glass aquarium, holding -not fish- but a tarantula. It's difficult to judge the size from the photo I've posted here, but I'd estimate that the body -not counting the legs - to be about 2 or 2 1/2 inches long.

I didn't see a price on the cage, so it may not be for sale. Perhaps, it's simply the shop's pet.

I didn't ask.

There are two barbers working in the shop; one cut my hair, the other one cut J.P.'s. My wife, my son and I were pleased with the new haircuts. I'll be back when I'm in need of another. Rather than paying 80 for the the two haircuts, I gave 100. That's a 10 piso tip for each barber. Not much, but both were happy.

Maybe next time, I'll ask about the tarantula.

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