Here’s the thing: When you’re touring the world for a year there comes a day when it hits you: THIS is not a two week vacation.
It manifests in a number of ways:
You’re standing next to the locals folding your underwear. Or you realize you have no intention of seeing any particular site today and really, change the backdrop and you could be in your home country.
Or you need a haircut.
And yes, my friends, it was the latter that did it for us.
We’d been watchingthe boys’ hair grow and grow for weeks. Ignoring it wasn’t working. Trying to comb the growing afros was turning them against us and our one futile attempt to cut it ourselves proved that the hair clippers we bought on sale during our LA stopover weren’t such a sound investment.
And so it was that we found ourselves asking Bruce, our Xian tour guide extraordinaire, if he knew a place.
And from the moment we walked in I knew this would be a memorable experience.
We weren’t looking for anything fancy. I wanted a good ol’fashioned buzz cut. Cut it all off. No shaping. No styling. Just take it off. Like a sheep in the field. We had seen plenty of Chinese fellas who were sporting clean shaven heads so we expected it would be no big deal.
We were wrong.
As Bruce tried to explain to the hairstylists what we wanted a look of horror came over their faces. Senior stylists were called over. Consultations took place. And finally a solemn nod. They would try.
And what followed was what Cameron now refers to as his “spa day.”
His hair was washed and condiitoned. His head was massaged. He was wrapped, like a babe in swaddling, and transported to the chair.
A senior stylist came over. And then he, along with what I can only assume was the apprentice’s apprentice mulled over the situation.
They spun him in the chair. The turned him to the side. Could he please lift, then lower, then lift his chin again?
And finally, confident they knew what they were dealing with they plugged in the shears.
After each swoop, they turned it off, surveyed the situation and adjusted Cam in his chair before they did the next one.
It took them about an hour from start to finish.
And then they worked on Ethan.
In the end, both boys looked like a million bucks. The stylist was quite pleased with our reaction and his staff snapped a few pics as well. I left with two well shorn boys and the photos to back up a story that will be told for years to come.
Just another day in China.