Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Barber of Amsterdam

I was hugely looking forward to paying a visit to Mister Pasquale Capone, the Barber of Amsterdam. I wanted to go on my birthday, but he's only open Tuesday to Thursday, so I had to wait until I could sort out a day off work - today!

Pasquale's a true Figaro, who lists his skills as tailor, shoemaker, cabinet-maker, dentist, and of course, gentlemen's hairdresser. On his website, Pasquale gives a full account of his responsibilities, including:
"The most important standards in my trade are: personel attention and individuality. I practice my profession in a most natural way. This is in contrast with the operation of most of the present hairdressers À la minute: modernisation, rationalisation, complex machinery etc. They forget the real profession. SOCIAL and CULTURAL VALUES are neglected and the result is SOCIAL and ECONOMIC POVERTY."
This had all the hallmarks of being a classic Barber shop experience. What transpired was... educational, to say the least.

I turned up at 2 and was warmly welcomed into his delightful "living museum". Then I sat there for 40 minutes while he lectured / humiliated me about social responsibility, integrity and my being "an opportunist".

I was made to read aloud, to the assembled audience, a newspaper article in which he expounded his philosophy and vision - all very sensible and noble. You can read all about it for yourselves on his website.

Having ascertained what I did for a living and how much I earned, he wanted to charge me a cool €200! A little steep, in my estimation. I ended up leaving, unshorn.

As I opened the door to leave, and he addressed himself to one of his regulars, I caught sight of his face. What a transformation! The kindly-yet-playfully-antagonistic old codger had vanished - in his place, a sneering, judgmental old git of a man, happier to domineer and sermonize than to provide friendly service to his customers.

I won't be going back.


Deborah Blench said...

Fuck him! said...

Yeah man. Fuck him! Get your hair cut by girlfriend instead, she works at a Chinese barbershop on the Rokin;-)

ManuelDahm said...

Jesus what an annoying bugger. How could you stand him so long...

davevandongen said...

Look Ahead hairdressers, in the Van Woustraat. Ask for Marly.
See how different that will be...!
Anonymous, although not entirely! ;)