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The second oldest profession in the wrold
Corvus albus
I think it was Stefan Zweig who said (where... I could not find it anywhere) that it is easier to betray your country than your barber and your café. I like this saying and always thought about it when I betrayed Joseph and stopped going to him to cut my hair. It was some 5 years ago. Joseph became old, and his hands began shaking, and I felt, well, somewhat insecure having my ears near his scissors. I kept avoiding his shop ever since, although it was not so easy, as my children's school is located just in front of his shop.
Yesterday I passed there by chance and saw that the shop is closed for good, and a sign "to let" on its window. These kind of old style (no-bullshit-just-come-and-cut-your-hair) barbers are disappearing. The second oldest profession in the wrold is in danger, I guess.

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I still feel guilty about betraying the oculist I used to go to long ago; he was a dear old man who must have been practising almost since the days of Queen Victoria, but he became too decrepit to carry out his work properly, and the glasses that he prescribed made my vision even mistier than it had been without them.

Yes, guilt... what a fabulous cultural invention...

Peeping through the windows of Italian barbers and watching them fuss over their scruffy clients, sending them back into the world in a shiny, happy, relaxed, well-informed version of themselves was probably the one situation that I wished I was a man.

I go to similarly non-frilly salons, one of those walk-in places. My main reason is that I hate having to make appointments for everything, but they're cheap, too ( I get my hair cut for 15 Euro which really isn't much). Their standard greeting is "Tachchen, hamsen bisschen Zeit mitgebracht?" ("hi, you'll have to wait a bit"), but they're really quick, it never takes that long. I like sitting there watching them treat all the different kinds of people. What I feel guilty about is that I think they probably get paid even less than in higher end places but a) I can't be sure and b) I buy myself out of it by tipping generously.

Gender business is a real mine field... and yet, hairdressers and women (well, not all of them) offer such a perfect test case for the way culture (- what is "culture"...ha.. quid est ergo ... ? si nemo ex me quaerat scio; si quaerenti explicare velim, nescio) treats differently men and women (by the way, not boys and girls, so it has to do with sex apparently). Why can I pay the equivalent of your 15 Euros (in shekels) while most women must pay - and happily do so - 4 or 5 times more? This is of course a rhetorical question. Warum? darum.
There is nothing more pleasant, taking up on your words, than waiting in a barber's shop, waiting for your turn, reading stupid magazines, and watching other people's hair being cut.
That's one of the last professions in which we allow strangers to touch our body - not in a sexual way and not in medical surroundings.

Well, in two hours time I am going to the barber (sic. not hairdresser) to cut my hair. (Oh my god, this is similar to a twit.. how low can I get? What a moral degradation has befallen me).

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