Fearing for my life

I fear for my life more and more these days. My childrens’ too.

Every six weeks, to be precise. That’s when we visit the local Turkish Barber.

We used to go to a unisex salon. It was a safe space to take my children. Sure, there were scissors in use. But we never saw blood spilled, only hair clippings.

The young women who cut our hair were gentle. They spoke softly and asked the boys what they’d been doing at school.

The element of danger was very small.

Now we go Turkish. Instead of young women, there are young men with fierce facial hair. Naked blades are on display – razors, knives, daggers. Maybe even the odd machete.

Their hands are a blur. The blades shine brightly, like the sweat on my brow.

The men speak rarely, merely making one-word demands, such as ‘Eyebrows?’ or ‘Shorter?’

I fear to say no to them.

Sometimes they offer me Turkish coffee, but I have yet to pluck up the courage to accept. My adrenaline and cortisone levels are already elevated. I don’t need a week’s supply of caffeine on top. If I start to shake, I may lose an ear.

Once they wrapped my head in a steaming hot towel, I don’t know why. Afterwards my head turned purple. They did not explain their actions, and I did not question them.

We could leave, of course. We could go back to the gentle maidens with their kind words and health & safety certificates. But the Turkish Barbers might hear of our betrayal. They might track us, and hunt us down.

They are ruthless.

Besides, they have given me a loyalty card. Just two more visits and they will give us a free haircut.

And so I pledge them my loyalty.

Today’s the day for our next visit. Wish us luck.

12 responses to “Fearing for my life

  1. You poor soul. Be bald like me then you never need fear a visit to the barbers, Turkish or not. And if the occasional hair does grow, my son cuts my hair. I’ve blown his inheritance so he has no reason to bump me off.
    In the meantime, best of luck today and if you and your family survive, a very Merry Christmas and an excellent New Year.

    • That’s one idea. Sometimes I receive emails offering me Male Baldness Treatment. maybe I should buy some of that?

      In the meantime, a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you too!

  2. I used to get my hair cut at a traditional barber shop that did the towel wrapping thing. I miss it. After it closed, I started going to a saloon for men where they want to shampoo my hair after the cut. I always decline even though it’s covered in the price.

    Hmmm. Maybe I should look harder for another traditional barber shop.

    Maybe even a turkish one. A little danger does stimulate the metabolism after all.

  3. Hahaha. You should read my friend Paul Levitt’s novel, “Stalin’s Barber.” Great book, very well written (and I wish I had thought of that title first).

  4. I lived in Turkey for two years. You have nothing to worry about.
    On the other hand, it must have been a little scary to get a haircut from British barber Sweeney Todd, but I heard the pies next door were to die for.

  5. Heh. I spent 18 dollars on a set of electric hair clippers five or six years ago and haven’t spent a dime getting my hair cut since. When it feels long, I just give myself a buzz cut. Easy to care for, and saves on shampoo, too! 🙂

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