Thursday, May 6, 2010
Getting a haircut and a free skull exam in Japan
I don't particularly enjoy going to the hairdresser, especially since it in Japan usually takes up more than an hour with all the hair washing, rinsing and stuff. Ok, I know of these QB 10min - 1000yen (~$10 USD) places, but that seems a little bit too much in the opposite direction. But I do go, once in a while to get my hair cut.
Like in any country, the hairdresser is the home of the small talk. Generally I'm no big fan of constant talking when I get my hair cut, but it's hard to avoid talking completely. For the small talk, it's generally the path of least resistance, which means talking about my foreigness, how things are in Sweden ("do you have summer there?") and my views on Japanese stuff ("do you like natto?" etc.) and hearing stuff like "Oh, I always wanted to go to... Where was it you came from again?". But after a few visits it usually gets a bit more reasonable, however, since I recently moved and thus went to a new place and a new hairdresser the whole conversation pattern has restarted from zero.
One big topic of conversation on my first visit a few months ago was the quality of my hair and how strange it was that it was so similar to that of Japanese people, even though I'm half Japanese, but it seemed like she came to terms with it eventually.
On my second visit just recently though, while giving me a scalp massage she exclaimed "Oh, your skull is shaped a bit different from Japanese people, now I noticed!" like it was a big discovery. It should be noted that I believe that I have a perfectly normal shaped skull and have never ever heard anything like this before. But who knows? Exactly what the difference was still remains a bit unclear though... Maybe the noble science of Phrenology, usually perceived as a pseudoscience, lives and flourishes among the hairdressers of Japan?