Che Bello Part Due

This past Saturday morning, I mustered up the courage to try it all over again.  My hair was getting long, and it was time for another cut.  As much as I loved my previous hair cut experience—the grandmas in curlers, the ridiculous book of hair cut choices, the mid-cut gossip and cappuccino session, the cheek and chin grabbing—I figured it was time for some place a bit more….traditional.  So I headed off in search of a true barbershop.

Luckily, I found just the place down the street from my apartment.  This particularly barbershop falls along my daily route to the train station, so I had been eyeing it for some time now.   It has big glass windows overlooking the street, a nice dark-toned interior, and most importantly, from what I’ve seen from walking by, a mostly male clientele.

When I entered the shop, I was greeted by the barber’s wife.  She promptly showed me to a chair, and minutes later, her husband came over.

“What do you want?” he asked.

With my slowly progressing Italian, I replied, “I’m American and don’t speak much Italian.  But I would like a normal cut, not too short.”  He nodded in comprehension.

The cut progressed without a glitch (and no, he didn’t take any breaks in the middle).  He asked me the usual questions:  Where are you from?  Why are you here?  Are you a student?

When I mentioned that I was from New York, he said proudly, “You just elected an Italian mayor—de Blasio.”

“Si, si,” I answered, confused for a moment.  Everyone just assumes I’m from New York City, so instead of correcting them I just play along.

“But he doesn’t speak Italian,” the barber cautioned.  “And his family came over to the US many years ago.  I don’t think he’s a real Italian.”  A man in a nearby chair waiting for a cut nodded in agreement.  “No he’s not,” the bystander opined.

Tough crowd.

Minutes later, the barber finished up, brush off my neck, combed my hair, and held up a mirror so that I could inspect.  Probably the best cut I’ve gotten in quite some time.  I think I’ll be a regular.

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Update 11/15:  According to this story in today’s New York Times, de Blasio does speak Italian.  The barber was wrong, and apparently many Italians don’t share his dismissive attitude toward the mayor-elect.  Interesting article about de Blasio’s ties to Italy:   http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/15/nyregion/his-roots-in-italy-de-blasio-now-has-fans-there.html?hp&_r=0

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