small talk or no small talk

Yesterday I felt the urge to have a haircut. It was already 6 weeks ago since the last attempt to have a decent hairdo. The side wings covered my ears and my hair gel usage was getting out of proportions.

schaar

Let me describe the process of getting a hair cut in The Netherlands:

You make an appointment because the working class is getting haircuts during the spare time they have on Saturday. This means that you have to plan it weeks before. The best is to make an appointment right after your hairdo is decent again. But somehow I keep forgetting it all the time. Glad to be outside breathing the fresh air without the smells of hair gel, perm fluids, sweat and perfumes.

Once i am comfortable in the chair, I relax and am quietly staring in the mirror. I do wear glasses, so if I take them off I don’t see that clearly anymore. Big advantage 🙂

The person asks how she has to cut your hair. Only scissors or can they use a trimmer for the back also?

My regular answer is:  I don’t care. I want my hair short in a fashionable way. Okay. Understood. one, two, three, GO.

I close my eyes because I don’t see anything anyway and it minimizes the small talk. Wishful thinking. There she goes.

It is needed. Your hair is so long again. <thinking> Weird isn’t it. Why do you think I am here?

Where are you from?: <thinking> If I answer that, does that change the way you do your work?

Do you have kids? <thinking> Are you looking for a second job babysitting?

nice weather isn’t it? <thinking> No not really it is raining. OR it is 30 degrees. I am sweating my ass off.

What I think always differs from what I am saying. Guess I am too polite to be rude.

This goes on and on. Until she is ready and you have to pay the bill.

haircut

Now I am living in Riga, Latvia and here it goes a little different.

Entering the barber shop the first thing you encounter is being attacked by a dog. 25 cm long and 10 cm tall. No excuses or any attempt to get the dog away from me.

They did speak a few words English and I managed to explain I wanted a haircut. Which should be obvious in a barber shop, isn’t it?

I was directed to a chair and sat down. Friendly as I am I tried to have some small talk with the person although I didn’t feel like it. And it went like this:

Nice dog. Yes

How long are you working in this shop? Why? why do you want to know?

Are you from Riga? Yes

From that point I decided to tell something about myself, just to see what was happening.

I moved from The Netherlands to Latvia in February. Oww.

I have 2 little girls. One of 1 year and one of 3 years. Sweet.

You have kids? No.

and this went on for a while until she was done with cutting my hair.

The bill was also higher than I expected. Next time I take the bus or train to the country side and get my haircut there. With the travelling costs it is still cheaper 🙂

Then I will close my eyes again and start relaxing as soon as my butt touches the seat. No small talk in Latvia. Perfect.

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8 Responses to small talk or no small talk

  1. Expat Eye says:

    I hate hairdresser small talk. Ideal. Apart from being attacked by a rabid dog of course. 🙂

  2. Ah, the smalltalk… my pet hate are these ‘massages’ they are suddenly all doing while they are meant to be washing your hair. FFS, people, just get on with it!!!! Or maybe it’s just me and for everybody else having your scalp twisted about is the absolute highlight of their month…

    • rjschutte says:

      Absolutely. I forgot to mention she tried to convince me twice that I needed my hair washed by her. Before and after the haircut. I had some gel in my hair. Perhaps i looked like a Latvian alcoholic, but i doubt that. Or I look like a rich foreigner and his wallet has to be emptied from all his money 🙂

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