Chinese Barber

Dennis getting his haircut by an
ancient barber in Zhouzhuang water village
Cousin Dennis is such a good sport that he did not deny me the pleasure of watching him get his hair cut by an ancient Chinese barber.  As he seated himself on the old-fashioned barber chair and let the barber put a sheet over him, I wonder what was going through his mind.  I guess he never expected to suddenly become a customer in the hands of this old but experienced barber when we started out on this trip that morning! 

Dennis speaks the local dialect so he explained about what I do and that I will be taking photos and recording a video.  After the barber put on a tunic over his clothes, he brushed Dennis’ wind-blown hair into place at the start of the haircut.  Dennis interviewed him on my behalf and from the translation, I learnt that the barber had already retired but is keeping a practice in Zhouzhuang water village as part of the tourist attraction here.  

The barber worked with slow efficiency, taking his own sweet time step-by-step in the meticulous process, using electric clippers, scissors and a shaving blade.  The dubious hygiene standards did cross my mind because his barber tools certainly looked antiquated.  But Dennis is so cool about it – he’s lived in China for years – and graciously placed his hair in the barber’s skilled hands.

Watch out for that ear!
Steady hands wielding that shaving blade...
Wooden tray filled with antiquated barbershop tools
Old-fashioned shaving soap and shaving brush!
Hot water from a flask poured into these enamel basins to rinse a towel!
Dusting powder on Dennis' neck - all done!

Tourists passing the barber shop curiously peep in the door and through the window and as the barber worked, Dennis became the object of interest in his shop.  Yes, I paid for his handsome haircut and I even let the barber keep the change.  For me, it was such a rare and priceless experience that it was worth every cent of Chinese Yuan!


1 comment:

  1. Anonymous4/15/2012

    Was Dennis nervous pre-cut?