The best shot we could manage of our tiny room in the Chungking Mansions
The best shot we could manage of our tiny room in the Chungking Mansions
Great scenery along the way from Puerto Princesa to Sabang
Great scenery along the way from Puerto Princesa to Sabang

Here is a little something I typed up after a much-needed haircut in Ella:

Well I just got back to the guesthouse after a lengthy absence.  I left about two hours ago on a mission to get my hair cut here in the tiny village of Ella and it turned out to be a bit of an adventure.  You see, I happened to pick September 4th for my haircut which just so happens to be the last day of school holidays.  Business was brisk that day according to the barber but my 400 rupee (US$ 4) bid, over 4X the price locals pay, rapidly secured me a seat in the chair.

It started off a bit shaky.  I did my best to convey that it had been nearly two months since my last cut and that the barber shouldn’t be bashful about letting those sheers rip.  ”Short, even shorter, please.” I pleaded over and over.  Eventually he figured it out and removed an appropriate amount of hair.

After the haircut he put a bunch of oil in my hair and went to town with a head massage.  I learned that this is a common part of your standard haircut in Sri Lanka and to say it was intense would be an understatement.  More than a few times I was certain that I was soon to hear the cracking of my skull.

Once the massage was over, my barber/masseuse excused himself and darted out the door of the ramshackle shop.  He returned a short while later with nice frosty mango smoothie on a platter.  Maybe he was feeling guilty about charging me so much over the local rate and he decided to give a little back?

So that was my cheap afternoon of entertainment on our last day in Ella.  Definitely a  good use of $4!  For those keeping track, this was the fourth haircut of the trip:

  1. Random hole-in-the-wall – Palermo, Buenos Aires, Argentina
  2. Peluqueria Chino Veloz (great name, isn’t it?!) – Rurrenabaque, Bolivia
  3. Steve’s Barbershop – Helena, Montana, U.S.A.
  4. Janaka Saloon (yep, double-o is how they spell there!) – Ella, Uva Province, Sri Lanka

3 Responses to “A Haircut in Sri Lanka”

  1. That’s twice the number of haircuts I’ve had in the last 2 years! hehe…

    In one of my first days in indonesia, a local who worked at the dive shop who I had never spoken a word to turns to me and says, “Long hair, long life”… and then he left. Makes for a fun, random memory of the trip…

  2. Shouldn’t you have before/after photos with this to judge the quality of his work? Never know if some of your readers will someday be in Sri Lanka and need a haircut.

    • Hi Dale! Good to hear from you. Indeed, I should have included photos. I will have to refer you to the post I just published titled “Final Thoughts on Sri Lanka.” I have an absolute crap internet connection at the moment so I can’t upload more photos. At least I am in paradise (Palawan, Philippines)!

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