Haircut Episodes

02 Sep 2002

I went for a haircut today and finally got the last of the bleach blonde out of my hair. It’s nice to have a barber shop where they know me and know how I want my hair cut without me having to tell them, since it’s kind of hard for me to explain a hairstyle in Chinese still.

Two noteworthy things happened in the barber shop. First, one of the boys that works there wanted me to tell him how to say “I want to make love to you” in English. It was pretty funny. The girl shampooing my hair told me not to tell him, but I didn’t see any harm in it, so I told him. Then I could hear him practicing it in the background for the rest of the time I was getting my hair washed and my shoulders massaged.

Then, while I was getting my hair cut, the barber asked me if we had xishuai in the USA. I didn’t know that word, but based on the context I figured it was some kind of barber shop appliance thingy. Figuring Chinese barber shops don’t really have any unusual appliances that we wouldn’t have in the States, I answered yes. But then he seemed really surprised, and made me doubt whether I had guessed correctly. Finally he told one of the employees to bring one out so I could see. Someone brought out an earthenware pot about a handspan across with the lid on. They put the pot under my nose and slowly removed the lid. What was inside was… a cricket!

Apparently, not only do some Chinese people keep crickets as pets, but they actually fight them, and bet on the fights! I was really surprised to learn this, so I asked some more about it. He said guys will sometimes bet 10-20,000 RMB (US$1250-2500)!!! On a cricket. Insane.

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John Pasden

John is a Shanghai-based linguist and entrepreneur, founder of AllSet Learning.

Comments

  1. Hahahahahaha. I remember that story now – I love those haircuts – I cannot rave enough about how beautiful it was to massaged, shampooed, conditioned and fitted … then given a 30 minute love making session type haircut, in which the stylist touches every hair, so ecstatic they are working on a foreigner in their salon, in their chair, in their control.

    • Wilson
      RACINGMIX
  2. Wilson,

    Those were the days. I have yet to find a similar place here in Shanghai. I haven’t really tried very hard yet, but… sometimes you just can’t beat a memory.

  3. There is nothing I love more than a chinese hairstylist!

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