Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Napolean's haircut or: Zee Germans

My very first activity in Cape Town: shave and a haircut. Apparently, if a girl flies you around the world to come stay with her and she has to show you to her friends, she doesn't want you to have a patchy beard that suggests facial leprosy. We found the Waterloo Barber Shop. The old German woman running the shop told me that when she took it over thirty years ago, it was too much hassle to change the name. The name also suggests the losing battle she waged against my hair. How do you screw up a buzz cut? Seriously?

She came to South Africa to learn English. After three years working here, she knew this was her home. "The people here rich and poor, are very friendly." I asked her about changes she saw in this neighborhood that had gone from rough to uber-hip in her tenure. She said that when she first started, the blacks had to be off the streets by 6PM. If not they faced a fine worth a month's wages. My first introduction to apartheid.

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