I’ve never been keen to have my hair cut. I find the whole thing uncomfortable: I find it hard to keep my head still for long periods combined with the required level of chit chat. Due to this I often grow my hair but long hair is not practical when undertaking sweaty activity. This meant I had to go find a Kyrgy barber soon after arrival in Osh.
The first challenge was just finding one. The idea of an online presence has yet to penetrate Osh’s barber scene but after some search (I think) I found the one.
After a short trek across Osh we spotted the barbers. On entry, a man approached me and sat me in a chair. I had come prepared with a picture but still felt the need to communicate just how short I wanted it by means of hand and mouth signalling.
Style shouldn’t cost the earth so I tried to find out the price. I thought my stutter had returned as the word price repeatedly came out of my mouth. Even combined with the world wide symbol of rubbing two fingers together and the more obvious of sign of just showing him cash I wasn’t getting anywhere. This made me slightly nervous about whether he understood my signals for the haircut I wanted. The barber stood firm, ignoring my panicked price protestations as they fell to the floor along with my hair.
With lack of language skills the need for chit chat disappaered. This relaxed me. Plus, with not so sharp clippers and the decision to start at the base of the hair from the front there was little choice about the direction that was my head was being pulled in. This was turning into my perfect hair cut experience.
After he had done the rounds, I collected some of my hair for prosperity and the rest was sweeped up. I thought it was time to pay when he led me into the next room. Before I knew it I was bent over getting an extra special treat with his gentle hands rubbing my scalp as he washed my head.
This could have been the happy ending to my perfect barber experience but when I separated with about £2 I was even happier.