Monday, March 14, 2011

Near-Eastern Cuts

Only weeks after Leo's sudden (and enforced) retirement I sought haircut solace in Ralph's on Main Street in Southampton. Not a bad cut, but slow and too faux Italian an experience. The debate about where the best spaghetti meat sauce can be found does nothing for someone who knows that there are no, repeat, no authentic and excellent Italian restaurants in this part of Long Island. It also involved an in-depth knowledge of baseball if any barber/customer conversation was to be successful. I can now report that I have discovered a "new" barber.

Fahid has a small shop on Newton Lane, East Hampton where, day after day, clearly sometimes ankle-deep in shaven locks, he cuts hair (no gelled hair, mind, effendi) for a very reasonable sum of money. Fahid is from Syria, and I will probably visit him regularly. His wife remains in Syria, managing the lands that her family has farmed since the fourteenth century, and they have one daughter, on whom he clearly dotes.

This is a man who not only cuts hair quickly and well, but also has an accurate knowledge of most geo-political Middle Eastern events and expectations. To me this is a haircut challenge because it will involve catching up on homework once a month, because I have to anticipate his first question about Lebanon, Israel, and all of the Mediterranean Arab states. Fahid also thinks that I should learn some Arabic. Why?

To understand "some of the shit that goes on out there."

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