International Haircuts, Part 8.

Hair cut country number…eight, I think. Nicaragua.I had Nepal’s barberji on the mind as I walked into PIAF Internacional Peluqueria half an hour ago. In the door, reading a newspaper in a florescent green plastic stacking chair was a large fellow whose sleepy eyes didn’t resemble barberji’s burning orbs in any way. I couldn’t tell if he was annoyed or pleased by my appearance, a confusion that lasted the duration of my visit.

My usual vague description of “shorter on the sides and back, the buzzer is fine, and longer on top” was met with the customary familiar grunt. I should just say “the generic male, please” but I’m not sure how to say “generic” in Spanish.

To start, he combed my hair into something like a cross between a mohawk and an old school DA, then set about fine tuning the edges I assumed he was about to buzz away. He seemed to enjoy combing my hair, and continued doing so periodically throughout the procedure, which grew odder as the hair got shorter and the comb made less and less difference.

His fingernails were perfectly manicured, and they flew around above my head with little sweeps and flourishes like a somewhat sedated flamenco dancer.

Credence Clearwater Revival sang Born on the Bayou from the little radio on the desk, followed by a Spanish group heavily inspired by Pink Floyd.

I’ve never seen a barber so concerned with tidiness, frequently wiping his scissors and clippers off on my shoulders and jiggling the plastic cape thing, which was covered in Japanese script and odd line-sketches of severe women with bad haircuts.

We chatted about Leon, Nicaragua in general, and how it’s better to travel alone than with a guide. He informed me that the climate here has gotten hotter due to all the cotton they’ve grown in this part of the country.

And that was about it. I never know what to say in response when someone says “muy amable” (basically “you are very friendly”). You too? Iqualmente? Nice manicure? I settled for “thank you” and left, enjoying the breeze.