Eight Minutes and Sixty-Six Cents

My haircutter’s shop was closed for my first two weeks in Bali.  I arrived shaggy and grew increasingly uncomfortable with each day that passed.  I drove past his tiny shop every day on my way to my warehouse/workshop, hoping for a haircut. 

“All” the barbers in Bali are Javanese and “all” the Javanese went home for the Ramadan (etc.) holidays.  Their individually chosen dates to return to Bali for work seem to be random and subject to momentary whims that can bring them back to Bali as much as four weeks later than promised.  It was with a combination of hope and resignation that I approached his shop each day, looking for the BUKA (OPEN) sign in the window and the curtains open.  I’d made several stops on the way to the workshop today and was driving by his shop at 1:00, just after the traditional Balinese lunch break ended.  BUKA!  All right!  He’d just opened, for the afternoon and I was the first customer.  There was a mountain of black hair on the floor.  It looked like a score of black sheep had been shorn that morning.  He must have buzzed forty fuzzy guys that morning.  Just cutting and letting the fur fly with no time to sweep up.  Aris is known for being fast, good, and having a great smile for everyone.  After my buzz I looked down and see my gray fur sprinkled on top of the mountain of Bali black.  The whole stop cost me eight minutes and sixty-six cents.


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Having journeyed to the Far East and Asia over 20 times in the past 20 years, I’ve been intrigued and inspired by the ingenuity, craftsmanship, balance and human spirit that have gone into the making of those works I have seen and collected.

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