What do you think of when you hear the word, "saloon." I always think of some western movie where big bad villain slowly struts into a bar. You can hear the ching-chang, ching-chang, of his spurs as he approaches the door. As the two half-sized doors swing open, all the saloon patrons immediately look to see who it is.
As the stranger walks into this saloon he quickly notices that it quite a bit different than his "western" style. There is no alcohol, no one playing cards, and no one slinging 6-shooters. This is a HAIR SALOON. Well, maybe they were trying to spell hair salon, but hair saloon is close enough.
I mean, c'mon this is practically a saloon. From the pink walls to the men giving each other face and back massages. You have got to love living in a place where the price of a roll of toilet paper costs the same as 3 haircuts. Yes the TP is a bit expensive (about a $1 per roll), but the haircuts are way cheap. These aren't just any haircuts either.
I love getting haircuts here because its a full fledged experience. One haircut costs about 50 cents - and that includes scissor work, not just some old lady at "the" Wal*Mart Supercenter whacking at you with a small weed-eater.
My first experience at the hair saloon will not be forgotten. When I walked in, I had to ask them "Is this the hair saloon?" with a half smile. The barbers jumped up and offered me his seat in a large barber's chair. I really didn't know what to expect. I also didn't know what he was going to do. Have you ever tried describing what kind of hair cut you want in a different language. I'm not real picky when it comes to haircuts, although my wife would disagree with that. I pretty much just waved him on to just start cutting and we'll see what happens.
He starts going to town with his scissors. It was unlike anything I'd ever seen. His fingers cut so fast, it almost sounded like a lawn sprinkler. After a couple seconds of cutting he would swing his arms together and clap. I think he was knocking the hair out of the scissors with a comb. It was impressive.
As Bollywood films have an intermission, so do haircuts. Halfway through the haircut, the barber stops and hands me an EXTREMELY hot cup of tea. It was so hot I could barely hold it, let alone drink it. It's a good thing I am still wearing my little hair-catcher backwards-cape thing. It's a little difficult to drink hot tea while being covered in your own hair. I feel kinda bad because there men still waiting for haircuts, but I can't drink my tea any faster, it is practically boiling. After tea, he finishes up my hair using the good 'ol straight razor. I look like I should be a character on Grease with my new 50's style "do."
Next comes the shave. I am a little nervous about this. First he takes his wet hands and starts rubbing them all over my face. It feels like he is trying to open my face like a coconut. Then he starts working up the lather using a horsehair brush. He starts slapping lather all over my face like he's basting a turkey. After five minutes, he seriously kept putting more and more on until I looked like Santa.
Then shaves my face with the razor with the precision of a surgeon. I don't know how he makes it looks to easy. Then he starts up again with the lather. I thought he was finished. After being lathered and shaved for the second time. I was expecting aftershave in a bottle or something, but he pulls out this big ice-cube looking thing. It tastes really salty, but it takes the burn right out.
It's been fun, but it's time to go. I start standing up and he quickly tells me to sit down. We are not finished. He then proceeds to pull out a tiny white string. I'm thinking one thing....IS HE GOING TO FLOSS MY TEETH? He pushes my head back in the chair and somehow starts plucking out eyebrow hairs with this string. I have never seen anything like it.
After the plucking, its over...or is it? He quickly grabs a small hand held machine from the cabinet. It looks like a hand blender or something. "It is definitely time to go now," I am thinking to myself. He starts going to town with the head massager. Yeah! This thing is awesome! I was feeling smarter already.
Then he says it's time for your back massage. My What?! I am not sure exactly what they consider a back massage to be but this felt more like I was going through a smacking machine. For some reason he start smacking my back like he's petting Shamu. Before I know it, he lifts my arm behind my head and TWISTS! POP! Whoa! He does the same to other arm. This is when I start to worry. I don't think this guy has a chiropractic license. It's too late, he grabs my head and starts twisting. A snap, crackle, and pop later it is definitely time to go.
I stand up and say, "That was the best hair cut I have ever had. Can I come back tomorrow?"