Mesmerizing candy cane swirls of red, white, and blue twirl within Hangzhou’s market alleyways. Like a moth allured to a lamp, I looked for the nearest spinning barbershop pole this morning. My hair had begun to look moppy. I grew dissatisfied by my moppiness and wanted a fresh cut. Perhaps a stylish one. Maybe K-Pop-esque… So I searched and found a barbershop owned by a nice looking young couple. They definitely looked K-Pop-esque. Very fashionable. Once inside the barbershop, I realized I had no data on my phone, nor did I have a picture of what I exactly wanted. Ni you zhaopian ma? The styles they advertised were way too colorful for me! Ni gei wo zhongguo ren jiantoufa ma? I asked, “Can I have the most popular Chinese man’s haircut?” Dui, dui, dui. And just like that, my head is being scrubbed under a sink by the barber’s wife – a first for me. I am then escorted to a stool after my quick little shower and the husband quickly points out my receding hairline. Xie Xie… The haircut begins. I would bargain that my hair was maybe 4-5 inches in length before my haircut. The first snip of hair was definitely a 4-incher. All of a sudden my bangs are gone. Wode tian a… What did I get myself into? Their toddler then begins to laugh at my banglessness. Not just a simple ha ha. The boy was rolling on the ground, pointing and laughing at my profound banglessness. Eventually the small boy began to wheeze as he couldn’t catch his breath in between each laugh. I could not help but laugh, too! I looked more Amish-esque than I did K-Pop-esque! Buzzzz, snip, snip, snip. The haircut was finished. My ears were lowered. My Neanderthal forehead in its full glory. I paid the man 30 RMB (4 American Dollars) and went on my merry way.

With my pocket full of change, I decided to buy a jianbing (scallion pancake) along my way back to the hotel. As I was munching away on my delicious pancake, I couldn’t help but notice that my new haircut did in fact look like many of the other Chinese peoples’ hair styles. However, it was not young Chinese men rocking my haircut… It was the elderly!

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