You haven’t lived until . . .

Recently, I wandered into a barbershop hoping to get a better cut than the first one I had here.  Even though no words were exchanged between us, the kid cutting my hair seemed to know just what to do, and I was pleased with the outcome.
As I went to pay, I was asked if I wanted a shampoo.  Why not?  I was led into a back room and instructed to lay on a “bed” with my head hanging over a sink on the end.  The woman soaked my hair in cool water and began washing, scratching my scalp with her nails.  It felt great knowing she was getting all the loose hairs out after my cut.  After the rinse, I lifted my head thinking she was done.  I was wrong.
My head was pushed back down and soon conditioner (or lotion) was being rubbed through my hair.  This time, instead of scratching she massaged my scalp.  Every inch of it.  She rubbed, tapped, hit, pulled, pushed and stretched every part of my scalp.  It was pretty amazing and I almost broke out into laughter a couple of times as I pictured how ridiculous I must have looked.  
After another rinse I again began to lift my head, only to find out we were not even close to finishing.  I was a little shocked to feel her hands suddenly cover my face with lotion as she used the same techniques to massage my nose, eyes, ears (inside and out), cheeks, forehead and chin.  She moved back and forth between my scalp and face.  By this time, I knew I’d be in for more surprises, so it wasn’t such a shock when her hands moved to my neck, and then lifted my shoulders as she massaged my upper back.  

Wish I'd brought my camera with me.

Wish I’d brought my camera with me.

The entire massage lasted about 45 minutes and ended with hot towels on my face and neck and another thorough rinse.  She cleaned inside my ears thoroughly with cotton swabs and made sure everything was dry.  There was a quick blow-dry and a final styling of my newly cut hair before I finally got the bill for this hour of pampering – $5 total for the cut and the “shampoo.”
I left the barber shop and walked out into Hanoi’s busy streets again, but I was in a daze.  My face felt cleaner and fresher than it ever has as I headed down the street feeling like I’d just woken up from a dream.  After that experience, I think I’ll be getting a haircut here every week.  

Comments (24):

    • Tim Flanagan

      November 13, 2016 at 08:45

      Very much!

      Reply
  1. Lori

    November 11, 2016 at 07:24

    How cool is that??????? Glad you enjoyed some pampering!!!

    Reply
    • Tim Flanagan

      November 13, 2016 at 08:45

      When in Rome . . .

      Reply
  2. Paula Agins

    November 11, 2016 at 07:56

    Make an appointment for me 🙂

    Reply
    • Tim Flanagan

      November 13, 2016 at 08:46

      How about Monday at 5:00?

      Reply
  3. Cindy Cassidy

    November 11, 2016 at 08:15

    That sounds magical!! Looks like you have a lot of promoting to do when you come back to the States, all of these experiences need to be replicated here!

    Reply
    • Tim Flanagan

      November 13, 2016 at 08:47

      Or I could just stay here! (just kidding)

      Reply
  4. Elaine T

    November 11, 2016 at 08:49

    That is so cool! I think I would really enjoy that! I was afraid you were going to end the essay with and it cost an enormous amount of $$!

    Reply
    • Tim Flanagan

      November 13, 2016 at 08:48

      I was ready to pay anything, but was even happier when it was so cheap.

      Reply
  5. Carla

    November 11, 2016 at 10:59

    im glad ur enjoying the littleless and trivialest of things in hanoi. too bad you won’t be back for class next wednesday. should i just send it my poem to the site on the little pamphlet???
    ps: im the outspoken girl of 10D1 who has deep resentment towards Trump 😀

    Reply
    • Tim Flanagan

      November 13, 2016 at 08:49

      Thanks for reading, Carla. You can send in your poem anytime to that website, or wait till I return. Have a good week!

      Reply
  6. Deidre

    November 12, 2016 at 15:38

    How great is that! We all could benefit from this weekly! You deserved it all Tim!

    Reply
    • Tim Flanagan

      November 13, 2016 at 08:50

      It was an unexpected treat, for sure.

      Reply
  7. Emilia

    November 12, 2016 at 19:55

    HI Tim,
    I love reading your blogs and I am so happy for you. It sounds like an opportunity of a lifetime, but we miss you. One studet in particular- Charles in Charge- visits your classroom to reminisce about last year!
    As for the election, the country was divided- the two coasts were blue and the middle of the country were red. It still seems surreal that a man ,who has never held any office, took over one of the political parties and is now president. It seems that sometimes a two party system can engender apathy when neither one seeks to work together for the good of the country and we are presented with two unlikable candidates.
    Take care,
    Emilia

    Reply
    • Tim Flanagan

      November 13, 2016 at 08:52

      Traveling makes me realize how different our democracy is from so many others. None of them are perfect, but there’s certainly more than one way to have a democracy. Say hi to Charles and the angelic eighth graders!

      Reply
  8. LInda A Wight

    November 14, 2016 at 08:55

    GLad you enjoyed the “haircut plus. YOu must have smiled your lovely smile the rest of the day! MY iPAd was down, needed new cord, so I haven’t read some of your blog. I will get to it. HAve a great day and a Happy Thanksgiving – love cousin Linda

    Reply
    • Tim Flanagan

      November 23, 2016 at 01:39

      Yes, I did smile a lot. I think it’s time for another haircut. Happy Thanksgiving!

      Reply
  9. Karen Chapman

    November 18, 2016 at 15:44

    You had me in stitches – I could just picture the whole thing! (My son had a similar experience in a Spa in Morocco.)
    It’s great you’re experiencing so many different things & cultures. Makes you realize how small the world really is!

    Reply
    • Tim Flanagan

      November 23, 2016 at 01:44

      So glad you laughed! I was laughing inside my head as it was happening.

      Reply
  10. Ruby

    November 22, 2016 at 22:07

    I love it. I get my hair shampoo’d just for the massage sometimes!

    Reply
    • Tim Flanagan

      November 23, 2016 at 01:48

      I’m ready for another one!

      Reply
  11. Marika Heughins

    December 14, 2016 at 19:33

    That sounds amazing!!!!

    Reply
    • Tim Flanagan

      December 16, 2016 at 06:43

      Going back for more!

      Reply

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