Life can be tough for a Diplomatic Spouse, particularly when you’re a lazy Englishman who can’t be bothered to learn the local language. It’s enough of a challenge for me to explain to my driver Dino that I want to visit the Barbeiro, so to convey to said Barbeiro how I want my hair cut is fraught with risk: last time I went I stepped out of the
shack salon looking like a middle-aged skinhead.
But that was then — well before Christmas — and my hair has done its usual thing and grown back as scruffily as it knows how. So today it was time to return to the Barbeiro and make myself look beautiful for my birthday; which is also today! Happy Birthday to me!
How can I explain to my Portuguese-speaking barber how I want my hair done?, I asked myself. I know, I’ll search t’Internet for a photo of someone with the kind of haircut I usually have, and take that in on my phone. A picture’s worth a thousand words after all, whether in English or Portuguese.
So, I surfed over to images.google.com and typed in “Men’s hairstyles No.4 tapered neck”. I was surprised how poor the results were. Surely this is a common problem and loads of people are looking for hairstyle photos to show their barbers? I really didn’t get what I was looking for, but I did find one pic that quite closely resembles my ideal look:
Yes, as it turns out Zac Effron has copied my style and been snapped sporting this Caesar Cut. You can’t blame him really. So I copied this pic to my phone and took it along, and when the Angolan barber asked me what I wanted (I couldn’t actually make out the words but it was that point in the proceedings so I could guess his meaning) I produced my phone with a flourish, pointed to the photo of Zac and said, “Assim!”, which means “Like this!”
Much clipping, snipping, and scraping with a naked razor blade ensued, during most of which I tried to relax by closing my eyes. But when I finally opened them I was pleasantly surprised. He had actually done a pretty job of giving me a “Zac”.
When Karen got home from work her first words were, “Blimey, it’s Zac in my living room!”, so that clinched it. I made her take some front/side/back mugshots so from now on I can tell any barber, whatever their tongue, how to Zac me up.