Cefalu, Thursday 23 July 2015
The one shop that this touristic town has most in number, apart from souvenir shops and gelataria (ice-cream shops) are hair salons/barbers. We know that the Italians love their hair, and Italian men and women are obsessed with the look of their hair. After soaking in the unbearable heat and humidity for 2 weeks, I gave up doing my hair as there is absolutely no point nor hope to revitalize it, I have decided to give it a try at one of these many hair salons. Usually I cut my own hair, at home. But I guess when in Rome! The visit to the salon is quite an interesting experience. The one I went is a small cute family-run parrucchiere on one of the main streets of Cefalu. Orchestrated by father and son, it is a whole stage for social interaction and entertaining. Now I understand why salons are so popular here, apart from the ‘hair’ thing. It is an important part of their lives! Sitting on the salon chair, the mirror becomes the screen broadcasting live entertainment show within this set-up. How regulars enter the salon, doing their rounds of kissing the hosts on the cheeks, Umberto and Serge, father and son, starts their performance cutting hair, trimming, shaving, mixing colors, perming, steaming, while the whole time chatting and talking with their hands, like the true Italians, with the scissors and comb and shavers waving on top of our heads at close distance, but never really at risk to the customers, just nervous, for the untrained heart. When done, Serge the son asked me proudly, ‘you like it?’ eager for recognition of his satisfied work. And in fact, yes I do, I answered. It was quite a pleasant and interesting experience. Felt almost like back to the past in the 80s, but on stage.