Family & Friends,
Why should I fear a simple trip to the barber? Because, this is Africa and anything can happen. I had nightmares about what an African barber might do to a Muzungu head of hair. I put it off until I was looking like Grizzly Adams. Before, venturing to the barber, I took some clothes to the cleaners. I looked at prices. I noticed that a “loin cloth” was only 2,000 rwf. Seemed reasonable. I looked down the long hall to the barber shop. I slowly trekked to possible haircut doom. I thought, “I want tapered hair in the back” might not communicate, so I showed him the picture on my passport. And said, “I want that”.
He said “Ntakibazo” (No problem). My anxieties were not relieved. He went slowly, carefully and every snip calmed my concerns. At five minute intervals, he took out his scented brush and cleaned off my hair from the cloth covering. He finally finished. My hair was just right (except for the gray and a bald spot). I gladly paid about $8 (5,000 rwf). A quick check revealed that this was more than double the normal price. It was the Muzungu price, but this Muzungu was happy anyway. I turned down a hair wash and neck massage, but later learned that these were included in the price. I am happy to say that I now have chosen a cleaners in case I get a loin cloth, and my new barber is Mustafa. Whew!
Rwandan Rookie, G
P.S. I’m raising funds for purchasing African authored books. If you have interest contact me.