July 15, 2011 in E
I was in the shower in Japan. I hadn’t gone all the way there specifically to wash, I was living there at the time. And I was shaving my head with a razor because I’ve always found the best approach to hair grooming is to remove it completely once every two weeks.
The phone rang.
Nowadays I would never leave the shower to answer the phone because it would be someone trying to sell me something but when I lived in Japan a phone call was usually a chance to speak to a friend back home who had taken the time to buy a phone card.
I rinsed the shaving cream out of my head and ran to the phone. I had a long conversation with my brother wrapped in a towel (I was in the towel, I never asked him what he was wearing). We caught up until his phone card ran out and when I hung up I was satisfied, slightly homesick, dry, naked and hungry.
Ten minutes later I was dressed and riding to the supermarket.
People in Japan used to stare at me. I lived in a small country town full of people who weren’t used to seeing westerners. I was strange, exotic and close to a foot taller than most people they knew. I used to be able to silence children in supermarkets with just my physical presence. I’d hear them crying and then round the corner into their aisle and they’d stop dead and stare at me before saying the Japanese equivalent of “Bloody Hell look at that thing!”
So I was used to being started at.
Once the shopping trip was done I went to get back on my bike and caught a reflection of myself in a shop window. It was only then that I remembered what I’d been doing when the phone rang. I’d been exactly half way through shaving my head. The interruption had left with a hairstyle that I can only describe as “escpaped mental patient”. Some bits shaved, some bits not shaved. It looked like male pattern baldness crossed with crop circles.
I rode home quickly and finished shaving my head.