The barber from Rio

The barber from Rio

After nearly 4 weeks of not shaving and letting my hair grow wild I started to look like a lion-head. Simply out of control growth to the point my wife was looking at me rather oddly. Well, I knew at that point I had to clean up a bit.

So we decided to look for a barber shop while strolling the Copacabana neighborhood. Anyway, I like the idea of using a local service. The first place we stopped in on one of the main avenues was a hair salon and the prices were outrageous. So we went on. I knew we had to go to a guy’s kind of place, off the main path.

Thanks to Ana and her keen eye, we found such a place. A small barber shop just for men where we could see several guys hanging out, some waiting and some already getting their haircuts. There was a neatly printed price list in the window: 10 reales for a haircut and 13 for a beard trim. The older barber was leaning against the door and asked me if I wanted a corte (a haircut). I knew this was the place. I sat down in an old-fashioned chair by the window and in our combined Portuguese/Spanish/English and sign language we got to the point.: a hair cut with the clippers and a beard trim.

The barber was meticulous and precise and took his time. We found out he has been doing it for over 50 years. El maestro. Then, after he cleaned my messy hair, he attacked my beard. At first I wasn’t sure if he understood what I wanted but as he went along I realized that he knew exactly what he was doing. To finish off, he got out the good-old razor blade, lathered me up and shaped those whiskers with fine touch. Not a single cut, nick or mistake. After the clean up I got my face splashed by cheap aftershave which felt quite refreshing and voila! I was a new man.

I paid el maestro and gave him a nice tip in appreciation of his craftsmanship. We shook hands, smiled and waved hands as we walked off into the city.

In the barbershop
Maestro at work with the blade

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