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Tuesday, October 12, 2004

The Barber Shop

last weekend i had my haircut at a nearby barber shop in PJ. it's been a while since i cut my hair at another place other than my good 'ol trusted barber. not that i've got a great hairdo or something, but heck...he's been cutting my hair since my school days and he's trusted to get his dirty hands on my kepala.
but since the thought of going back to seremban just for a measly haircut seems quite tedious, i thought, what the hell...kl ni macam takde barber je. it should be pointed out here that i've never had a haircut done at some unisex salon with those scantily-clad girls having a grip on my hair. not that i don't trust them....just the thought of dishing out 20+ dollars on a haircut macam tak berbaloi je. if they can make me look like brad pitt or something, takpela jugak kan...but just for a trim or two here and there...i'll go for the indian guys anytime. and besides...those head-cracking maneuvers and head massage they give are simply priceless.
so off i go to the nearest barber shop i can find in PJ. a friend told me there's one neatly tucked near bulatan universiti. i never knew there was one there, but found it i did. as i opened the door and entered, i found the shop quite interesting. it was one of those 60s, 70s era barber shop that's still running after all these years. stepping into the shop was like a step into the swinging 60s or something. there was this strong smell of Tiger Balm in the air. it was really classic man. the pakcik who greeted me (he seemed like the owner) wore this colorful 70s shirt which can easily be found buried deep in my parent's closet. and his partner (again, i'm presuming) looked like he just stepped out of a P. Ramlee movie by the way he spoke....alaaaaaa...u know...those bahasa baku kinda lingo. the only sign that i'm in 2004 is the TV playing, which was showing the telecast of the MotoGP. and lo and behold....as i sat there waiting for my turn, there was a copy of Dandy dated year 1990 laying beside me....as if eager for me to flip thru it. shite....i used to love buying Dandy when i was a kid. Dandy and Beano...two british comics i grew up with. never liked Roy of the Rovers though...dunno why....too small to appreciate football i guess.
enough of my comic history....i guess u shouldn't be suprised by this kinda shop. there's dozens of them left in Malaysia, but u only get to apprciate them once in a while. my favourite barber shop in seremban is not those classic mamak shops where they have 'Holiday on Ice' talcum powder. the guy who runs it is kinda young. the barber shop is a favorite among seremban youths, and that's how i knew about it when i was in school. the years have gone by, and even though he's aged...so does his customers. so i'll always see that shop as that hip place to get your hair done.
so u'd have to excuse me for being a bit jakun stepping into that PJ barber shop. i asked the pakcik when he opened the shop as he carefully (and i mean....really carefully) trimmed my hair. he told me he opened the shop in 1971 with a friend of his, but that guy's already old and sick, so it was left for him all alone to run the business. so as he went thru my hair, shaving the bits and pieces with an eerie looking razor blade...i thought, "Wow...lamanya pakcik ni berniaga." at the same spot pulak tu. i seriously couldn't imagine a business opened now that's still be running after 33 years. tak payah la kedai kecik...i couldn't even imagine Secret Recipe being around in 2037. not that i'm looking down on them...it's just that local businesses rarely seem to go on for a long time. i really hope shops like this will still be around when i'm older. i love the classic feel of it. okay...the haircut might not be that great, but i'll pay just for the nostalgia. but reality will come into the picture, and one day the only places u'll see shops like this is in museums. which means i'll have to go to those hair salons one day when i'm older. ok la kot....an amoi sweeping her hands through my grey hair. paints an interesting picture for me....

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