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And anything for the weekend sir?

I have a rich store of deeply moving and well crafted tales about my life though, oddly, Maggie thinks otherwise!

At least two of those stories, anecdotes that have been served with alcohol for years and years, deal with my experiences with students. The knee on the chest, blood spilling from my mouth student dentist story and the trousers around my ankles, suit jacket and tie still in place, real doctor with his hand up my bottom and two young women student doctors watching story.

So my hair is a bit long. It's not been cut since the gay barber with the throat bandage and gravelly voice cut it back in Ciudad Rodrigo. I mentioned a possible haircut to one of my intercambios and she suggested I use one of the local hairdresser training school places. Maybe I should have pondered the dentist and bottom stories before putting myself in the hands of students again. However, I made the appointment yesterday and turned up for the trim today.

Now getting a haircut in Spain is like getting a haircut anywhere. Barbers cost less than hairdressers and talk about football and dodgy politics. The downside is the tendency to bleeding ears and lobsidedness. Haircutters are on every street corner but until you're in the chair and the scissors are clacking away you have no idea what they'll be like except that the talk will be about holidays. Expensive haircutters at least give you decent coffee, sometimes wine and always music. With all of them you tell them what you want, they do as they please and you leave thinking that it will soon grow back.

The trainer told my trainee haircutter what to do and then went off surrounded by a cloud of students. The shampoo part went well though that massaging the scalp thing was a bit creepy. She started to cut. I noticed her hands were trembling. She would do a section and then go to find the trainer who was a bit slow to come back because she was doing the rounds with at least 15 trainees in tow. Once the trainer was behind me she would comb a bit this way or that make a few snips and then set the trainee back to work. This went on for two and a half hours; the whole morning. Even with all that time I didn't get that thing where they trim the sideburns or scrape the back of your neck with a cutthroat razor. To give her her due, the bits she did cut look fine and the price, 7.40€, helped to lessen the blow of a long period spent watching strangely dressed young women wearing combs and brushes in the manner of a Western gunslinger paint all sorts of potions into the hair of the assembled female clientele.


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