Got a haircut and farewell to an old loyal friend

Trip Start Jun 25, 2012
Trip End Aug 19, 2012

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Flag of Sri Lanka  , Eastern Province,
Thursday, July 5, 2012

I have been talking about getting a haircut since the day I got here. With the move and all back in Doha, I just never found the time. To say it took me 9 days to finally make it to the "salon", says a great deal about the type of trip I am having. I finally made it today, Bari and Hassan called to make sure it was open, and told me to head down around 11:30.I was told it was down to Cabana villas and opposite beach side. It was about a 15 minute walk with the occasional tuk-tuk beeping to give me a ride. I have to get my exercise somehow though.

It was a bigger hole in the wall than I expected, a low roofed 3 sided room with ceiling fan, a couple of bar stools, a bench made of a 2x8 on cinder-blocks and a long dirty mirror. Their was either a line, or there was just nothing better for the group that was hanging out on the "bench" I figured the man with the young 2ish looking daughter had to be there for a reason, and their was a man on a stool getting the works. Their were several other younger guys just hanging around.

The man with the daughter was there for her and they were up. She was a beautiful very petite little Sri Lankan girl to get maybe her first haircut. She already had very short hair. She got the trimmers, scissors and even a little straight razor around the ears. She was sleeping, but I could not help but worry about her waking with a jolt and losing an ear to a straight razor. I was next.

As I set in the chair, one guy left to get some more straight razors and on his return more came in. They looked at me like a zoo animal and wanted to get info about me as the barber's trimmers went to work. I got a nice haircut with trimmers, then a patient cutting, a straight razor around the edges, and then water and shaving cream on the face and a couple of shavings. Then some squirts of some oil on the head and both hands dove in to my scalp for a traditional Indian head massage. I tried to relax but I could help but worry about him trying to pop my neck which comes with a normal head massage. I always hate that because I know these guys have no training for that kinda thing and it seems like if they just go a little too far, I may end up paralyzed for life. This guy seemed pretty young and maybe my American uptightness might cause him to overcompensate. And then, there it was, it happened, I felt like every neck bone popped and can I still feel my toes, yes, and then the other side -- toes, yes, I can still wiggle them. I survived another one. I got a nice dousing of what seemed to be spicy rubbing alcohol which caused a pain that made me forget about the neck bones and then I was done. How much? I pulled 500 rupees out of my pocket, he looked at my pocket and low and behold, the price was 500 rupees. No complaint, that is $3.57. Not bad for a haircut, shave, and a head massage.

Sitting in the one chair barbershop and seeing all the people loitering around just chatting it up, I could not help but think about Floyd's Barbershop back in grand 'ol Mayberry which of course reminded me that Andy Griffith, better know to the show's fans as Sheriff Andy Taylor, died two days ago on July 3rd. The Andy Griffith show has been a family favorite of mine for as long as I can remember. It is now a favorite of my children, especially Seth. Seth, Coen and I have watched all 8 seasons and have gone back and watched most of it again since. I have probably seen all episodes at least 3 times and many, more times than I can count. The show always brings a nostalgia back to me like nothing else. I love the simple life that the show represents and the wonderful relationships. I love the humor as well; it never seems to get old. While the first half of the first season was wonderful and I loved the bumbling sheriff that Andy played, I enjoyed it even better when he changed the character to become the sage of Mayberry and allowed Barney, the late Don Knots, to remain as the bumbling character. Andy was a wonderful parent and I thoroughly enjoyed watching his relationship with his son, Opie, a young Ron Howard. I learned a great deal watching him. He was not always right, but I could learn even more from his mistakes. Sometimes he lost trust in his son like in Mr. McBeevee, or when Andy thought Opie  was spending all his money on his girlfriend instead of a charity. When wrong Andy always owned up to it. He always apologized. I have tried to do the same. He also almost always let others, namely Barney, take credit for his abilities. Andy always went out of his way to make Barney feel that he was worthy and competent. I have tried to do the same. In short, when faced with a problem, it was always "what would Andy do?" The answer to that question helped me out a great deal.

Seth loved the show because "it had Southern humor that nobody in his grade really understood and enjoyed Opie because he was really funny and could relate to him in someways."

Coen loved the show because "it was funny and it taught lessons about life."

As far as Mr. Griffith was concerned, I never much enjoyed his other TV characters near as much as I did his Andy Taylor character. I also did not care that much for him personally as he was born in the same hometown as I was, Mt Airy, the true life model for Mayberry, but he only went back a couple of times in his life. He refused so often to visit during "Mayberry Days" and shunned the town on almost every attempt to honor him. I am sure Mr Griffith had his reasons, and maybe something can be read into his request to be buried within 5 hours of his death that would help us understand his reasons. I am sure that he felt that Mt. Airy was trying to use his notoriety, but so what. I am sure that he got so much out of Mt. Airy growing up, that it would not have hurt for him to give a little more back. With that said, it was Andy Griffith that passed away, and my thoughts go out to all his family, but it was not Andy Taylor or the show that died. Those shows will always be there for us to learn from and enjoy. Thank you Andy Griffith for giving us those. You are fondly remembered for those, and like you taught me, forgiven for your transgressions.
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Scott on

Just to let you know I am following along and enjoying the blog... I looked up tickets to Sri Lanka and could get there for less than $1500 - but it takes like 35 hours! don't think I am gonna make it.

John Gunn on

Thanks for the pictures and thoughts on Andy, If I pass through the house and the show is on I will stop what I am doing and watch the rest of the episode. That is the only thing on TV I will do that for. On the 4th we watched a wonderful fire works display down the road at SH&RH. I was glad we were in walking distance as Farrell rd. had traffic backed up all the was to US#1 off ramp. Have a great day.

Brenda on

Todd, I enjoy reading your blog and seeing the great photos. The sunsets are beautiful.You are a good writer, so keep the fun stories coming. I will look forward to your wonderful Sri Lanka trip book!

Paulette Puckett on

Enjoyed this entry; you didn't say how the haircut looked. Enjoying the pictures.

Amy Kaminski on

It's fun to read about your experiences. I got a chuckle just seeing you in the chair waiting for the paralysis to set in. Love all the imagery you give, feels like I'm there, even though I'm stuck on a sofa at home for 4 more weeks....keep writing! This is the first one I've received, thanks.

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