May 23rd 1984

posted in: The way back | 0
Al fresco barbers… though I don’t think this is the one I used, as I don’t recall sitting on the ground

My hopes were indeed fulfilled – I awoke feeling, if not exactly on top of the world, somewhere round about half way up.  I felt well enough to cope, not only with a light breakfast, but some lunch as well, some splendid crusty rolls from the German-style bakery.  I also lashed out a ludicrously expensive R14 for a Herald Tribune, so that I could find out the result of the Cup Final.  The result was just about all it had, too – not even a report on the game, just a brief paragraph giving little more than the score, and a picture.  Everton won, disappointingly beating Watford 2-0.  So that’s very nearly the end of the season, Liverpool having won the League + League Cup double, the 3rd year running they’ve taken those two.

In the afternoon, I toddled off to have a shave from one of the local barbers, + while I was there had my hair cut.  All in all, the man did a far better job than the feller in Yogyakarta had done on Christmas Eve.  My haircut did not make me look as tho’ I had recently been inducted for National Service, + the shave was much smoother.  With a month’s growth of beard, I had to be done twice.  I did miss out on the hot towels – I‘d enjoyed that last time –but he made up for it by slapping 4 different lotions onto my raw chin + cheeks.  I still don’t think the barber’s shave is all that it is cracked up to be however.  It hurts, for one thing, + doesn’t do as good a job as I can manage myself with my Gillette.  I received a shock at the end of the treatment when the barber grabbed hold of fistfuls of my hair, + jerked upwards viciously, a crude – very crude – scalp massage.  He then seized my head + pulled it round so that I was looking first over one shoulder, then the other.  And finally he hit my head, making a cup with one hand + hitting it hard with the other.  It sounded even worse than it felt, but the whole process was rather painful.  I made no protest, however, partly because I didn’t want to appear a wimp, partly because I assumed he knew what he was doing. Oh how we bow down at the altar of expertise.

A street entertainer

We traded one of our old cassettes, a rather appalling compilation tape we’d picked up in Malaysia – it had one good side, one dreadful one – for a Yes tape, at one of the local cassette shops.  The Yes tape too is a bootleg, of course, but they are far less slick about such things here.  They record from cassette to cassette, using cheap equipment + cheap cassettes, but don’t bother to print the titles on the thing itself, + simply photocopy the cover.  So it’s a bit of a risk, but we wanted to dump the other tape anyway.  For our evening meal we went to the Bistro, one of the places we haven’t yet tried.  It was so-so – the menu promised much, yet they had little – don’t have this, don’t have that.

I do seem to be trying certain things around the world: hair cuts,dental treatment… and this does seem to have been one of the slightly more successfu of such ventures, despite the unwanted massage. And mention of the cassettes does remind me thart we were carrying a fair stock of the things, even though a lot of our… my… attention is now divewrted to the radio.

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