Sunday, 19 June 2016

Getting a Hair Cut in Belgrade

It was time …. I could take the heat no more and with the upcoming journey down towards Turkey and eventually Nepal and India during the hot Indian summers I knew it was a matter of time before I would need to part with my hard kept long hair of two years. Belgrade was where I decided to get a haircut. Why Belgrade? Well partially because I was bored but also I was curious how the haircut would turn out when I could not speak the language and give any pointers.

I actually walked all around Belgrade looking for a Barber or Hairstylist, but a few set rule was obvious … if it’s in the tourist area I would skip it. If it was expensive posh place I would skip it. If the barber / hairstylist could speak English – I would skip it.
One shop I went which was round the corner from a posh tourist street along the way to the Belgrade Castle had a quint old looking two chair barber with a single old man manning the store. He was alone with no customer … walking up the stairs he said something which I could not comprehend but I gave him the scissors sign for haircut ….  He waved his hands, a universal sign that says NO …. Oh well to the next shop.

Maybe finding a haircut on a Sunday was not such a good idea so I started walking in circles …. Small circles to larger circles slowly bringing me to the outskirts of the inner city …. And I stumble upon a very colourful shop. A lady was sitting outside smoking as I walked up to the front door.
Frizersky Salon

I sort of wonder if this was really a salon or is it one of those special shops that is a front for something else … all I know was the more the unknown the more excited I was to explore. I pointed to the door and the lady gestured me in nonchalantly. Oh it was a local Salon. Another customer was just finishing up washing and perming her hair and the Salon girl could not speak English …. Perfect.
Frizershi Salon
Scissors hand sign again and I was blasted with a fury of what I presumed was questions …. I gave my best dumbfounded look and said in English …. Haircut ?? pointed to my long hair and used the scissors sign. The Salon girl pointed to the clock and to the chair … Oh … this is so fun … I understand that gesture … wait for turn J

Five minutes later the smoking lady outside entered, she was the hairstylist apparently. This time hand signs was going off the charts. Scissors sign plus haircut was understood. My hair was dragged out and the tip was indicated …. And I grab the ponytail I had and indicated full snip. One major understanding transpired. Still the Stylist and the Salon girl had a worried look and was obviously grumbling about something.

I was left alone for a few minutes and the Stylist came back with a bunch of magazines showing hairstyles. Ah … pick one style was what I understood. I flipped a few page, pointed to a few random styles that does not complement each other on purpose and introduce a new hand sign.

Pointed to the Stylist à scissors à I dun know shoulders raise à Smile à Thumbs up à Ok no problem I said in English.
After repeating the same gestures a few time and even point to a few magazine and all gave the thumbs up, the Stylist finally knew what I mean …. All styles are fine … you have my permission to cut my hair however you want it … but make it short … coz it damn hot.

Before Haircut
With the hard part done I could not help but grin at myself and the Stylist and Saloon girl was also laughing themselves thinking how to go about cutting my hair …. Small conversation such as where I was from and how old I am was all we could manage. English was really non-existence.
Took out my phone and set it to camera mode with a big grin again on my face I pointed to the stylist to help me take a photo … a before and after shot ….

After Haircut
An hour later, I returned to my original hairstyle before I had long hair ….. hmmm … well if someone who has never seen my original hairstyle before the ponytail, could not have known what my preference were, and had a free hand to style however she like, came out with this … I guess my life choice ain’t that bad.  

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