Randal was feeling a bit philosophical about life in general and barbers in particular. He also writes about our plans for 2008 which I am always so vague about.
Subject: Balding and Plans
I’m going bald. Yes folks I’m afraid it’s true. I thought because I was red headed I would not have to deal with baldness or gray hair as some of you have. I had believed that the reward for being red headed was to be left young in old age but here I am, going bald.
Somewhere along the line I discovered I liked getting shaved in a barber shop. It may have been China where a shave and a haircut cost about a buck. I always gave them about tens times that amount so they wouldn’t forget me and sure enough they didn’t. I also like to imagine myself as Clint Eastwood in that movie Hang Them High I think it was, where he rides into town, snarls at some of the street variety gun slingers and goes directly to the barber shop. Apparently in the old west or Italy where the movie was filmed, it was customary to pull your six shooter out of its holster when you set down in a barber chair. Anyway, when the bad guys walked in, good old Clint blew them away without biting the end off of his cigar. I wonder where those actors are now.
Also have you noticed that mafia type folks spend a lot of time in barber shops getting shaved? I know because the newspaper pictures showing just killed mob members were always either in a restaurant or barber shop. Boy, those guys had it made.
I have developed a relationship with a barber here in Olongapo. I guess you could say we are going steady. I went by the shop a few weeks ago on a Saturday and found out that Saturday is his day off. When I went back a few days later I think it was pretty well known he is my guy.
When we first got here in July I went walking one day and found this barber shop, it had six chairs and all of them were available. The barbers were all young so I picked out the one with the best shoes, some of them didn’t have any shoes at all. A haircut is 50 Pesos ($1.22) and a shave is 40 Pesos (98 cents). He gave me both and I tipped him 100 Pesos ($2.44). Biggest tip of his career I can assure you. Each subsequent trip I got better and better service.
I only get the shave most of the time which is every week. He uses a double edged razor that he breaks in half and slides into a holder that resembles a straight razor. He is very very careful which leads me to believe he hasn’t shaved many men before. Now I get the shave, trimming of my eye brows and nose hairs, clipping and shaving of my head hair around my ears and neck, face rub with rubbing alcohol, and a head, neck, and shoulder massage.
I’ve never heard him speak a word of English, I go in, look at him, he looks at me, I set down and he does what needs to be done. I pay the one girl in the shop that sweeps the floor and serves as cashier, the 40 or 90 Pesos, walk over and give him his 100 Pesos and I’m done.
Now to the subject matter: Here in the Philippines they lay you all the way back in the barber chair to shave you. The first time he tried it I just sat straight up. Remember those mobsters with their throats slashed. Besides I didn’t know his religion or thoughts on Americans so I wouldn’t lay back. He finally accepted this but as a compromise I lay back about 45 degrees against a headrest he installs for that purpose.
One day early on I saw a refection in the mirror of the guy behind me in the same position I was and noticed his forehead on each side came back to where his cow lick used to be. Can you imagine the horror when I discovered the man in the mirror was me? You see there are two rows of barber chairs with mirrors in front of them so, well you get the idea. I looked in every mirror I could find on the way back to the boat but there was no denying it, my hair is thinning out.
Ruth will be arriving back in Roanoke in four days on the 20th. When she returns to Subic on the 13th of March we will get busy installing the parts and supplies she will be bringing back and then we’re off, probably by the end of the month.
If we get accepted in the Sail Indonesia Rally I want to be in Darwin by late June. On our way there we will spend some time visiting some of the islands of the Philippines and spend some time in Kota Kinabalu in Eastern Malaysia. That will give us three months to get to Darwin and the rally begins on July 26th and lasts for three months all in Indonesia.
That will take us up to November and we have to be on the West side of the Malaysian Peninsula by mid January 2009. That will give us two and a half months to see Singapore, Western Malaysia, and Thailand. I think we’re rushing it a bit.