Last night I was walking through my neighbourhood with a saucepan in one hand and a bottle of jasmine tea in the other. Oh, and there was a donut from a tofu factory in the saucepan. I was the world’s greatest vigilante. NO ONE was fucking with me.
But what the hell, where the hell have I been? I’ve been busy is what. I mean where. Whatever. Nunnayerbeeswax. Still if I don’t feed the internet content regularly then I get nightmares about being eaten by a freakishly strong laptop. With TEETH. So here we go:
Since I’ve been in Japan I’ve been sporting that slightly lame side parting: all business, very little pleasure. Actually to be honest, when it starts out I’m always pretty happy with it; it makes me feel both preppy and Teutonic, like I’m a member of Kraftwerk modelling in a J. Crew catalogue. But the longer it gets, the more I slip from the early eighties to the mid seventies, and some mornings it’s hard to tell where I end and Nigel Havers begins.
So I devolved recently into an old style: big and messy. It was fun, I got crazy double takes everywhere I went, the general consensus being it made me look younger and more Japanese, which is all well and good. But I’d left it too long before changing and after two beautiful weeks it was getting harder and harder to “keep it up” as it were, so – to the hair salon.
Now, until last week I was always getting my hair cut at American House in the same building I work in. American House was not palatial, but it was slightly yellow, always full of cigarette smoke, and they have vacuum cleaners attached to the chairs, which they use on your neck when they’re done. That’s all you need for a haircut right? Seriously, though, those hoover things were great. It was like the future. Or at least Blake’s 7.
But, but, I decided to bite the bullet and go to a salon where I might have to do more than just mumble something about keeping the style but making it shorter. So with the help of my boss I picked a fancyish looking salon near where I live that had a money off voucher in the local paper, and I turned up there too early on a Saturday morning clutching two shitty little scraps of paper with photos of hairstyles that I didn’t totally loathe.
The aesthetic of the modern, young man’s hairstyle in Japan is pretty different from that of the west. It’s generally longer and bigger, but mullet variations are also rife as is a quite inappropriate amount of volume. I have no problem with these styles on Japanese guys, it looks great because it’s the accepted style, but on western guys it makes you look like you’re trying to look like a Japanese guy. So I was in the convenience store at 2am the night before leafing through men’s fashion magazines (and in fact men’s hairstyle magazines) trying to find a style that wouldn’t make me look like a total gonk. By the way, when you’re in a convenience store at 2am leaving through magazines – everyone else is looking at porn.
The photos were necessary because just describing what I wanted done in Japanese would have been pretty tough, if not impossible. But then they weren’t necessary after all because the salon had even better hairstyle magazines, and it was actually pretty easy to find something sub-cuntish to point to. And after the less than tender caresses of the barber-shop vacuum cleaner at the last place; a salon visit that involved multiple hair washes, a head and neck massage and a lack of choking clouds of cigarette smoke was like a visit to the elysian fields. Not only that, I can’t remember ever being quite so satisfied with a haircut on the day.
So an actual, non accidental hairstyle that looks pretty good? New ups and downs at work? A fairly clean apartment? Snow slowly melting away? Other unspecified big changes? Pedal me faster Cyclops, it must be Spring!