My first attempt at getting a hair cut failed in a giant babble of Japanese speech. I thought it was going to work:
- I'd located the nearby barber shop (with his blue, red and white striped candy pole spiraling in front a bit of a giveaway).
- I'd met the barber inside during his open hours and perfectly cracked my phrase
hair katto o onegai shimas.
- Then the barber did some pointing to the clippers and the sides and back, followed by the scissors and the top of my head - I'm thinking great, let's get started.
- Then I think he said something about running for prime minister, well he certainly gave a great speech and wasn't exactly directing me to his customer chair.
Finally yesterday I went early to ensure enough time. It was important as my first week observation was on at work that evening. Now you can just rock up, no appointment is really necessary at the 10 minute hair cut shop. However I only had a ¥10,000 note left and the first thing the staff did was point out the ticket machine on the wall that only accepts ¥1,000 notes. I went back through the station ticket gates, found a chemist and bought probably the most expensive toothpaste I'll ever buy in my life. Returning through the station ticket gates and back in the salon I crank a ¥1,000 note through the machine, it spits out a little receipt and the hairdresser takes it...
I still have no idea why they have this ticket system. In a mixture of ultra basic Japanese and English conversation, half-an-hour and the job is done and I look fine for work. The hairdresser has a vacuum that hangs from the ceiling and she informs me it will clean my head and face. Cool! For all my effort and patience (or maybe it's my lucky day), the hairdresser presents me with a gift of a comb that is made from recycled paper. Great! -
and it's waterproof. Another big "Arigato".
I thought I'd try this hairdresser next time...