Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Felix Is My New Barber

Barbershop 'Tings'
Whenever I start writing this awesome stuff that I write here I often get this urge to start off with this line. I am Wesh, Peter Wesh – you’d get this if you watched enough James Bond movies. And then go on to say superfluous things about me. Like I can play the guitar over the back of my neck like the late Professor Okumu used to do

Any-who how are you? How’s life over there? Is it raining? Yes? That’s a good thing. And speaking of rain, it really rained heavily this morning. One word - Awesome!!! 

You don’t get to experience the warmth of a comfy bed on a rainy morning very often. And it happened today. A Saturday! Mother Nature had really good timing today. I am saying that because I slept late last night watching the HIMYM comedy series and today I woke up to the sound of Heavy rain. As you can guess and as any hardworking Nairobian that doesn’t get to oversleep as they would wish would do, I savored the moment. I overslept. It was special. They say the best nights are when you don’t have to set an alarm for the next morning. But you know what makes this even better? Not setting an alarm and then it rains in the morning. I believe I offset a lot of my sleep debt which is a good thing since they - I know you're starting to wonder who is they; I also have no idea - say the more sleep deprived you are the more you act funny. The bad funny that is: the kind that embarrasses you. 

Anyway I don’t want to write about rain, I want to introduce you to my new barber. He is called..wait I forgot to ask for his name but he looks like a Felix so let’s call him Felix. 
One more ‘wait’ before I tell you about Felix. I promised a friend that I will comment on their dyed hair. What do you guys think about dyeing hair? Would you dye your hair? What color? I imagine how my conversation with Felix would go if I went over there to dye my hair.

Me: Vipi Boss

Felix: (He has a Kisii-sh accent) Poa. Karibu tena. Tunyoe kawaida?

Me: Zii, leo nataka uniweke dye ya blue! I am sure nitakaa poa na nywele ya blue. I think madame hupenda nywele za blue!

Felix: (Really sure he would laugh an entire hour) Boss kuwa serious bana. Dye ya blue hata hatuna hapa. Unataka nikunyoe aje?

This conversation would go on and eventually I would just have to shave normally. I have nothing against dyeing hair. I think you, my friend, look great with dyed hair. It comes forth as bold to me and bold people are good people. I rest my case there. 

So back to Felix my new barber. Wait – the last one now – so that you understand why Felix is the new barber I need to tell you what happened with my old barber. He was a ka-rough dude with a barbershop just opposite my flat. This ka-dude went to Dubai for a job. You know one of those Saudi jobs that people go for. I used to like him because he was not chatty. Then he was replaced by a tall weird beardless guy. I didn’t like him much. His hands were clumsy mostly. So I moved to this other barbershop over there (pointing with lips the Kenyan way). This new barbershop was okay but their massages were not. They shave you nicely then throw you into the temptation that is engrossed in their massage chair. I hated that place – though I went there kedo 5 times. For the sake of decency I will not divulge the details. So I moved to this very new barber – Felix. 

Felix is very chatty. Five minutes in and I was already exhausted from the 'lengthy' chat. You should know I am not a chatty person, I like to keep stuff to myself and talk when I really have to. Felix did not know this – he just kept going. I wanted to stop him but I couldn’t mainly because he was the one with the shaving machine. He had leverage yo! I guessed if I told him he talks so much – like a girl – he would intentionally screw my cut. And you all know a good cut is important – just like dyeing hair

We, mostly he, talked about many things. Sports – I had to pretend to like his team because, again, he was holding a shaving machine over my head – we talked chics, the hood, politics and business. The business part was particularly interesting. Felix now owns this barbershop after 8 years of being employed in other barbershops. 8 years man! He told me about how he mapped for business and worked his ass off to get where he is. It is interesting that he warms his water – to wash clients’ hair – with a Blueband tin. He dips that heater coil inside the tin and waits patiently at a safe distance. I was baffled at first. Who does this in this century especially with such a nice shop setup? Would it kill one to just buy an electric jug? A damn jug! Anyway after he told me his story I just stopped judging him because I am pretty sure next time I visit that place he will have saved enough for a new electric kettle. I will compliment him for it btw.

I should have started by saying that I like the service there. Its in-explainable how it feels to sit confidently knowing 8 years of experience is working on your hair; so reassuring. I will end this post by saying this. I thought of the case of Felix as I strolled back to my flat and I was immediately thankful for what I have accomplished thus far. Sometimes we focus so much on what lies ahead of us and on those ahead of us that we forget to appreciate our own milestones and think of those that are behind us. 

I admired his courage too. He started off something new in a place where he is a stranger to everybody – I will add this – while some of you won’t get the balls to move out of your parents’ house (But they say ‘Mwanaume ni kukatalia kwa wazazi hadi wazazi wana-move out wanakuachia keja). 

Seriously though Felix gave me a little bit of motivation to pursue what I do best and to have faith in my abilities. Let’s call it a ka-reawakening. Did I say I tipped him?

No comments:

Post a Comment