Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Barber Poll

It was time for a haircut, so I went down to my favorite little barber shop in Sunamachi Ginza. I digress for a moment to tell you about Sunamachi Ginza. It's what city folks call Shitamachi, which literally means downtown, but more accurately is sort of a nostalgic throwback to the sleek malls and all-in-one department store/supermarkets that have all but taken over retailing in Japan. These are the little mom-and-pop stores that sell nuts and bolts, bread, silk, underwear, yakitori, sake, vegetables, fish... everything. And this one is about to go, because a new mall and high-rise housing complex is under constrcution just across the street. When it opens, I fear mom and pop are going to have to find another livelihood.
Anyway, the barbershop is a three-chair affair, and the barbers are ladies. I am too old to call them older women, but they are older than 40, in any case. Imagine the conversation was in English (It was in Japanese). It went like this:
Barber Lady: Welcome. Haven't seen you in a while.
Me: I'm sorry to be away so long.
Barber Lady: What happened to the young lady?
Me: She left me.
Barber Lady: She what? Goodness me. And you two seemed so happy together.
Me: Yes, we were, but that's over now. I'm alone.
Barber Lady: Well, don't you worry. You'll get a nicer one.
Me: I hope you're right. I think I won't be in a hurry for that.
Barber Lady: That's the best. The good ones come to you. Just remember that!

So, even the barbershop lady tells me I should just get on with it and have a life. So, I'm getting on with it. I got a good haircut and some sound advice, with the reminder that it's no good feeling sorry for yourself when things go wrong. Things often go wrong. Just keep trying. There'll be a better one. That's the consensus. I'll work with that.

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