Saturday 21 January 2012

A Close Shave - Penang

I have been trying to work out how I am going to shave while we travel. Keeping a beard neatly trimmed is not something I’m good at even when I have the right equipment on hand, so when travelling light … well you get the picture. I was toying with the idea of going clean for several weeks, so when your grandmother-in-law (Poh Poh) asks you to shave for Chinese New Year, you have to, right? I announced to everyone that I was going for a haircut, and off I went. It was a small shop on the side of a highway run by an old indian barber (who used to cut Tia’s grandfather’s hair) and his apprentice. I asked for a haircut and a shave. The haircut went to plan and then the big moment arrived … off with the beard!

Before - The Shave
It started off with some oil, and then some shaving cream, and then some more shaving cream (I was a little bushy), and then the razor came out – the standard issue cutthroat.

Shaving CreamNot turning back now...
I swallowed deeply and waited. I was surprised at how quick and easy it was; if I had used a Mach 5, or what ever they are up to now, it would not have been this easy. Well, he made it look easy anyway. Before I could say dragonfruit I was clean. Except one small area, I waited for him to remove it, and even asked to have it removed, but he wouldn’t, saying I would look like a girl, so I now have a dirty mo. Despite this, the barber was terrific and it was a relaxing experience considering he was using a cutthroat.

The Mo
Everyone was a little surprised at my new look when I returned. I got a good laugh from Poh Poh, but I think one of Tia’s younger cousins Marianne summed it up well when, upon opening the door she gasped, “I like the Ben with the beard better” and then, with the most horrified look on her face, ran away screaming. So it was decided I would grow it back and keep it trimmed. It is not overly expensive to go to a barber in Penang; it cost ten ringgit (about three Aussie dollars) for both the haircut and shave.

The finished product

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