Barrington and I were in desperate need of a shave and haircut, so we asked Sharif what where we should go. He told us about a local guy that he goes to, so we decided to go for it.
Finding the barber proved a bit difficult. For those of you wondering, anything in Dushanbe is diffcult to find because there are no street signs, so getting directions can prove a little fruitless.Anyways, lucky for us one of our extended family members took us to the barber. To be fair even if we had street signs, I'm not sure we would have been able to find this place. Off one of the streets there is a small doorway, unmarked, and inside is two barber chairs, a sink, a hot water heater, and a bench.
Sharif had called ahead for us, so we were expected. I was first up, and had to describe how I wanted my hair cut. I can barely do this in English. Remember, I've been going to the same barber (shout out to Pat in St. Charles, IL!) for years. I walk in, I sit down, I get "the usual" and I leave. So, I just picked some numbers and hoped it wouldn't be too short.
This man was a professional. I'm not sure I can come up with the right words to describe how amazing it was, but this man knew what he was doing. It felt like he knew my head, as if he had been cutting it as long as Pat had. He shaped and molded my hair until it was perfect. I literally don't think my hair has ever looked this good.
One funny dialogue occured while getting my haircut. One of the other men in the shop asked me how much haircuts are in the US, and I said they vary from 12 to 20. He then asked if that was in dollars. The entire shop got dead silent, and then my barber responded "no, in Somonis". Haha. Ok. It's not as funny over text, but it was pretty funny when it happened.
Then came the shave. Unlike Barrington, I opted for a trim and not a complete shave (I get baby face with no hair). My barber asked if I wanted the "mulla or American style" trim. Obviously I picked American. Barrington on the otherhand opted for the baby face, and he got quite the intense straight razor shave. It was pretty impressive. Did I mention the guy was a professional?
Perhaps one of the funniest parts of the whole experience was how interested all of the men in the shop were with Barrington's hair. Obviously his hair is a little different in feel and they were literally grabbing entire chunks of it because they wanted to know how it felt. Now that I write that, it actually seems less funny and a little more creepy. But, as always, I will gladly say my adventures here in Dushanbe are far more interesting because I travel with a black man.