My first mission today was to find a place to get my hair cut. As I mentioned in my last post, there are an enormous number of barbers and salons here, but most seem to cater to older men with really short hair, just like the classic American barber shop. I wanted a more styled look.
I began with an early lunch at a noodle shop near our hotel. While I was there, they started playing a recitation of the Koran by a Saudi imam, which was unexpected since the employees were all young women in cute noodle-shop uniforms, and none seemed a bit conservative. I ate my lunch and asked them for advice on finding a place to get my hair cut. They recommended a men’s salon about a mile away, and I started walking.
When I arrived in that neighborhood (called Nejma or Mozart depending on whom you ask), I couldn’t find the recommended salon but there were plenty of others. I picked one called Shot that seemed a bit more upscale, and busier. I showed them a picture of myself with the length and style of hair I wanted, and put myself in the hands of God. Apparently He heard my prayer, because the the salon also started playing a recitation from the Koran.
The stylist completely ignored the photo I’d shown him and cut my hair in a modern Moroccan style. Then he trimmed my eyebrows, shaped my beard, put hot towels and lotion on my face, washed and dried my hair, put gel in it, and shaped it. Afterward, the manager asked me how I came to find myself at Shot, and we talked about how many other options there are. I jokingly said that I think there are more barbers in Tangier than in any other city in the world. He responded, “Maybe people in Tangier have a lot of hair.”
I asked him if today is a special day in Islam since both the noodle house and Shot had played prayers from the Koran. He told me no, but that this is how many businesses start their day: They want to begin with God’s blessing. I walked out $7 poorer, feeling refreshed and looking stunning (according to me, at least. Yvonne is a bit in shock). My haircut is not at all my usual look, but it’s perfect for now. And so began my day, which was about to become perhaps the richest I’ve had since arriving in Morocco.