Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Around Aberdeen: A Well-Defended Barber

In 2004, I accidentally stumbled upon an Aberdeen landmark while I was looking for the Central Library.

That's a statue of the legendary William Wallace, Guardian of Scotland and ally to Robert the Bruce, King of Scots. Since then, it's been one of the landmarks I've used to plan before my arrival, and to navigate by since my return a few weeks ago. One of the bus stops on the route that runs from campus is adjacent to the statue, so I'll often get off at that stop and walk the rest of the way to whatever destination is on my agenda.

The first week I was there, I noticed something important:

I went in a few weeks ago to have them trim my beard, and I've been in twice since then to have my head shaved. Like in the Middle East, I was offered coffee or tea, lathered up, and shaved clean with a straight razor. I love having a fresh shave on my head, and having a Turk, or an Iranian, or a Pakistani do it is a fantastic experience. My first experience with a Middle Eastern barber took place in London in March of 2003, with a Turkish barber. I had never, and haven't since, had an American barber provide the kind of service available from Middle Eastern barbers. When I lived in the Middle East, my favorite thing to do was go get my head shaved and beard trimmed by a Pakistani barber. I looked forward to it and savored it while it was happening.

So, the next time you need your beard trimmed or your head shaved in Aberdeen, head on over to City Barber, near the William Wallace statue at the north end of Union Terrace Gardens.

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