Mar 02: Brave or foolish?

I had been warned, “don’t go to a barber shop in the barrio”. But really, could I come all this way and not at least have one such experience? I had to try, I just didn’t realize how scared I would be.I’m not sure what made it so difficult to enter the peluquería (barber shop), but it was. I think it was the first activity that really caused my heart to thump. Perhaps it was the darkness of the room, perhaps it was the small group of young males joking around with each other inside, perhaps it was the Spanish hip hop blaring from inside, or perhaps it was the challenge of trying a new activity for which I knew I didn’t have the vocabulary. Whatever it was, my instincts were saying “Don’t do it!”

But I had to.

So after three tries passed the entrance I finally built up the courage and entered the small dingy room. Once I had passed through the threshold my fears subsided. The room was not as dark as it appeared from the outside. I greeted one of the clients with a hearty hand shake and ¡Hola! The barber gave me a quick nod and I sat down to wait.

The wait was a little longer than expected which gave me time to realize a new fear. Part of the delay was that the barber was carefully using a bare razer blade, in his fingers, to provide the final trim around the edges. Not only was this going to be a new experience for me, but I wondered if he would be using an old, rusty blade?

The funny part in this was watching the people passing by. Almost 50% of the people passing would walk by the door, stop, and then take a second peak into the door. One younger girl even grabbed her mom and came back for a second look. I guess, despite having been acclimatized to white skinned people here, they were not used to seeing them in the peluquerías. Hopefully, there wasn’t a good reason for this…

After what seemed like an hour it was my turn. In broken Spanish I explained that I wanted the sides short and the top about an inch. I knew the top would be a problem as they only cut here is shaved; shaved short. Nonetheless, the intrepid barber put on his longest blade, carefully held it off my scalp, and cut the top as I had asked. He had a few follow up questions which I couldn’t understand so I simply told him to do what he wanted; I had already passed the point of no return.

Trimming my bangs was probably the most comical part of the experience and I was glad I wasn’t too picky about the length. The barber would start from one side and carefully work his way to the other, only at a significant angle. His eyes were good though, so he would then take another stab at it from the other direction. He went back and forth a number of time before settling on a slight “v” pattern. Content that both sides were at least symmetrical he moved on.

When it came time for the bare razor blade I was glad to see he had a stack of brand new, packaged blades from which he drew. He was excellent with the blade and I never felt even the slightest nick or pull.

Total cost: $3 CDN.

Quality? You be the judge.

Mug Shot

Mug Shot


  1. Comment by connie

    wow Brad, and you wern’t enen scalped. i seeloys of hair left on your head…hhaaha, and the price was right for you!!!!

    miss you guys, hugs


  2. Comment by Kristina

    I can cut your hair like that but I will charge $5…hee, hee.

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