I could, should I choose to do so, go to any one of the several dozens of barbers shops that line the nearby streets. The windows are covered with posters of young men and women with very unlikely haircuts and peering through the windows reveals that the staff usually have even more unlikely haircuts. The kind of thing an extra in a post-apocalyptic Mad-Max-style movie might wear.
I choose instead to go, as I have done my whole life, to a rather more old-fashioned corner-shop establishment where I get a normal haircut and a wash and dry for the ridiculous sum of five yuan. In case you don't feel like converting it yourself that's fifty pence or about 83 cents.
While the salon places charge ten, twenty or even fifty times as much I could go even more down market.to the barbers who don't even have premises. Along the street that runs at the back of Goldfish Park there are, on a sunny day a dozen or more people with a chair, a comb and a pair of scissors each cutting hair. I have seen the savagery with which they attack their chosen profession and I wouldn't risk it if they were paying me but they do seem to have a steady stream of Chinese customers.
This morning, returning from the supermarket, I saw one in the middle of the pavement on a nearby street who was, without any sign of hot water, giving a customer a shave while pedestrians diverted left and right around her.
I shall continue to pay a monthly visit to the little shop on the corner - inspite of those high prices.
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