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March 23
2015 年 3 月 23 日

Hair Cut

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在美國理髮是我旅美生活中不太滿意的一件事。據說洋人頭髮較扁,所以頭髮的橫截面是橢圓形的,而我們東方人的頭髮則偏圓。美國的理髮師用理洋人頭髮的方式處理我們的頭髮,理完之後,頭髮容易被整得東倒西歪。後來有機會去北京出差,在友誼賓館理了一次髮。那是一家超級乾淨的公營理髮店,理髮師手藝高超嫻熟,利索又細心認真,理完髮後頭髮自然齊整。自那以後,每當出訪北京,一定抽空往友誼賓館的主樓理髮,每年兩、三次,歷經幾代師傅,少說也有二十年了。

話說有一天,幫我剪髮的王姐一邊剪髮一邊說:「你的頭髮好白。」我心想年紀大了,添了不少白髮吧。之後,洗髮的小李卻洗著洗著,自言自語道:「椅子先生的頭髮好黑呀!」我心想,才隔了幾分鐘,怎麼兩個人的看法差別這麼大呢?難道白髮變黑了?可是最妙的是給我吹乾頭髮的小姑娘,摸著我的頭誇獎似的說道:「你的髮質真好,頭髮又多。」這一下我可真是滿頭霧水,糊塗了。

於是想著回頭要請教王姐,這到底是怎麼回事?才半個鐘頭不到,同一堆頭髮,說法竟然南轅北轍!

經我提問,站在一邊的北京老師傅講話了:「三個人講的話都對。你的白頭髮特別白,黑的又特別黑,頭髮多,白髮比黑髮少,沙沙的頭髮軟硬適中,髮質確實不錯。」

北京人會講話,說話多麼讓人舒服,又多有統計分類的概念!

註:本文曾載於聯合報(2015年3月15日)。

Hair Cut

One of the things I wasn't quite satisfied about when I was living in the US was having a haircut there. It is said that westerners have flatter hair, which is why the cross-section of the hair is oval-shaped, while people like me from the Orient have more round hair. Cutting my hair the same way they usually do for westerners, barbers in the US invariably failed to make my hair look tidy. It tended to look ruffled.

Later on, I had an opportunity to travel to Beijing on business and had a haircut at the Friendship Hotel. It is a super clean publicly owned barbershop where barbers are highly skilled. My hair looked natural and neat after a trip there. Ever since, I have been going to the same barbershop located in the main building of the hotel every time I travel to Beijing, which has been a couple of times a year for at least the past twenty years. I have been through several generations of barbers.

One day Ms Wang, who was handling my hair, commented as she cut my hair: "Your hair is very grey". I thought to myself I must have grown a lot of grey hair as I have aged. But moments later, I heard Young Li, who was washing my hair, say to himself: "Mr Chair's hair is so dark!" (Mr Chair is their nickname for me.) I wondered to myself how two people could have such contrasting views in an interval of a few minutes. Could my grey hair grow dark in a few minutes? What was more amazing was the comment made by the young lady who helped blow-dry my hair. She said as she was combing my hair, "Your hair is so good and there is plenty of it, too". I was confounded, and didn't know what to think.

I decided to consult Ms Wang later about such contrasting comments about my hair in such a short space of time!

An older barber cut in when he overheard my question. "All three of them were speaking the truth. Your grey hair is distinctly grey and your black hair is very dark. You not only have thick hair, but also have more black than grey hair. It is neither too soft nor too hard. Therefore the quality of your hair is very good."

You have to give it to the people from Beijing. They really know how to talk the talk, with statistical concepts, too!

Note:
This article was originally published in Chinese in the United Daily News (15 March, 2015).

23 March, 2015

 

 

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