I graduated university with a degree in Environmental Engineering and decided I'd rather travel than work in an office for the time being. That being said I'm committed to addressing environmental problems and subsequently social problems. I've always been a traveler at heart and for a number of reasons I find myself typically traveling the road less travelled and frequently getting by on creativity, resourcefulness and patience more than anything else. I often look to do things differently and while my adventurous side relishes in this, I often find myself cursing my youthful naive judgement.
Currently, you find me in the Himalayas where I've often dreamt of bicycle touring. I ended up here finishing up field work in Bhutan. So I went to Siliguri India, a dump of a city, spent a week finding a bike, and I've now set off. Ofcourse having no tools, bike gear, and having never cycle toured is adding up to again a foolish youthful adventure. I hope you enjoy my foolhardy travel stories...

Monday, August 29, 2011

Indian Hair cut

I put myself under the knife. That of an Indian barber I should say. Somehow between my gesturing and his pigeon English he indicated for me to sit down. I saw a twinkle of excitement in his eyes when I said "Spiky", the Indian-English word for Mohawk. I was hoping that the new challenge for him would be well excepted.

Walking past a barber in North America you generally hear the buzz of the clipper. Here in India the scissors make a nonstop chattering of metallic clicks, making it sound as if hair should be flying everywhere as the artists crafts masterful sculptures from hair. In reality, hair dressers have a nervous twitch, snipping at the air as they line up their next cut on the comb. Put it together and you get a nonstop clicking as my hairdresser gets into the zone of creating a decent Spiky from my flowing mane of overgrown curls.

Things got interesting as he pushed my head back against a pad, lathered me up and preceded to slide a razor over my jugular. The result? The closest shave i've ever had and a humbling experience of giving trust to a perfect stranger. Just as I was enjoying my new look in the mirror I was being splashed in the face with water, fast as lighting there was a massive stone, crystal being rubbed across my face. Before I knew what had happened a smattering of different aftershaves followed my brush with the stone. Still in shock he asked if I wanted a head massage, politely saying no and giving the Indian head bobble apparently means yes in these parts so while I figured out he had rubbed my face with a giant salt crystal I was being percussed on the head in ways I couldn't quite understand using just two hands. The aggressive bumping, pounding and rubbing came to a finale with him gently turning my head and then aggressively popping my neck.

The chiropractor, scissor chattering, knife wielder had done me in. A group of men had slowly gathered in the smaller roadside shack to watch the spectacle and as I stood up and staggered to my bag I realized he had done a bang up job. I payed the sweet looking man and walked out feeling renewed and in disbelieve of what had just transpired over just a few minutes, A rock, a knife, a realignment: India never ceases to amaze.

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