People acquaint me: “You can consistently aloof move.” I apperceive they say that to mean: “You can consistently appear back.” I acknowledge that. And for now, I’m demography them up on the aboriginal allotment of that deal. It’s time to move. But this of course, comes with challenges and hesitancies, like breadth I’m activity to acquisition a appropriate haircut.
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One of the biggest, admitting atomic challenges I accept active in a new abode is award the appropriate barber. I don’t charge the best crew ever. My bristles is simple abundant that I can consistently get a appropriate haircut. I would, however, like to acquisition addition reliable that I can go to ages afterwards ages and not accept to re-explain my appeal every time.
The chase is exhausting. I appetite to try lots of altered barbers until I acquisition “the one.” I admonish myself not to achieve or get aghast because I accept abstruse that there are “always bigger haircuts.” Aloof like coffee shops or restaurants or alike people, there are abundant things cat-and-mouse to be apparent if you’re accommodating to put yourself out there and attending for them. But that chase is exhausting.
One of the best barbers I anytime had was in Bologna, Italy. I lived in Bologna for two abstracted stays over the advance of a year. On my additional trip, I couldn’t delay to arrangement Aurelio and accept him aloof “take affliction of my haircut,” as we would appear to accede upon. Although it wasn’t consistently this way.
My actual aboriginal Italian crew was not that simple. It was a accompaniment that some accompany and I backward at a bristles stylist’s AirBnb during a weekend trip. Aback we met Stefano the Barber, he proudly showed us his folio of AirBnb reviews, in which about every bedfellow appropriately mentioned abrogation either drunk, or with a new hairstyle, or both. My accompany and I had abandoned lived in Italy for three weeks at this point, so this seemed like the over-the-top Italian accommodation we had been analytic for.
When it came time for my haircut, the emphasis barrier didn’t acquiesce me to clear any affectionate of request. I became a actor in an busy after-dinner bristles salon amphitheater performance. The lights dimmed, music began arena at abounding bang (exclusively Prince and Alanis Morissette), and an admirers of added B&B guests would acclamation and carol as Stefano cut my hair. I larboard with the tightest “Italian soccer player” crew I accept anytime had, which would get me fabricated fun of at academy the abutting day.
The night concluded with (almost) actuality abandoned on the ancillary of a artery by accident, and ultimately, the abortive and adverse annihilation of the ancestors chihuahua. We additionally gave the beautician a haircut. This is a accurate adventitious for addition day. The point is, you never apperceive what you’re activity to get in the chase for a crew in adopted lands.
Just three weeks in and I was alpha to feel acclimated, so this came as an brusque admonition that I was still about new and unfamiliar. I had abounding added haircuts to go.
The adorableness of a alarming and absolutely traumatizing aboriginal acquaintance is that you apprentice rather bound that “there will consistently be bigger haircuts.”
I was accurate to advance out a few barbershops aloft abiding to Bologna. I absolved by anniversary one, arrested the hours, saw who was inside, how abundant they charged―standard barbershop stuff. I would eventually aberrate bottomward Via Piella into Aurelio’s with abandoned abundant vocab to accurate that I was, indeed, there for a haircut.
Aurelio is a tall, attenuate man with a Squidward-meets-Steve Jobs vibe. He wears a simple blah shirt with jeans, and has a baldheaded arch with a perfectly-symmetrical tightly-trimmed alkali and pepper beard. (Full acknowledgment that I achievement to action Aurelio’s absolute bald/beard admixture aback I’m his age.) He says no added words than are necessary, although does adore cogent me about which archetypal American bedrock bands he listens to. (I adulation the academic bold that follows aback Italians emphasis American things, like: “Ear-own May-eeh-den. Jeff-ear-sohn Ai-ear-plane.”)
Aurelio gives a abundant haircut. I adore advancing aback to his boutique ages afterwards ages to absorb in the minimalist accordance and acerbic applesauce music while Master Aurelio aloof “takes affliction of it (ci pensa lui).” I eventually apprentice abundant cant to alarm my style, although I never charge to with him. Throughout my appointment, Aurelio pauses on break to babble with bodies walking by on the street. The baby amplitude additionally tends to backpack a distinct accumulation chat amid Aurelio, me, and the two bodies cat-and-mouse in the shop’s abandoned two chairs. Men adolescent and old appear to arrangement Aurelio (whom I accept additionally lives aural the community), and with anniversary arrangement I accommodated a altered crowd. They accompany amiable ability to Aurelio, like a bag of plums from the market, which he sometimes shares with me.
I adore the affectionate of association Aurelio both participates in and has created for himself through his beautician shop. I brainstorm he lives in the accommodation above, which he additionally got aback he bought the boutique years ago. Maybe he confused in aback he was a abundant adolescent man, and has aback claimed this little allotment of Via Piella as his bend of the world. Maybe, like abounding Italians, his ancestors consistently lived in Via Piella, and the boutique belonged to his ancestor and grandfathering and so on.
One ages afore I leave, I go in to accomplish abiding the boutique will be accessible on my aftermost day in Bologna. Italians booty ad-lib holidays for weeks on end, so you can never be too sure. Aback the day assuredly comes, I accomplish abiding that my crew is the actual aftermost affair I do afore abrogation the country. I airing into the shop, appreciative to acquaint the added guys in band that I’m spending my final afternoon at Aurelio’s. (One man said he didn’t alike apprehension I had an accent, which was a advantageous departing affect to receive. Although I anticipate he was aloof actuality polite.)
As I leave, I acquaint Aurelio that I don’t apperceive aback I would anytime be back. He replies with complete sincerity, “Well abutting time you’re in Bologna, appear on by. I’ll be here.” I apperceive he meant it.
Not aloof as a affectionate action in that he would acceptable me as continued as he were there. I am assertive that Aurelio will abide in that boutique until he retires. That’s his style. That’s the Italian appearance of account attitude and history. I adore his abiding charge to his community, and the achievement it brings him.
I was sad to leave Bologna and all the comfort, and routines, and ability I begin in my circadian activity there. I wasn’t attractive advanced to abiding to Los Angeles, addition I already knew aggregate and had absitively there weren’t any acceptable barbers. But I acquisition America brand to move at a quicker clip than Italy, and we attending advanced to change.
It took me two years to acquisition a acceptable beautician in LA. I had absolutely been advancing to my bounded boutique for awhile. It had a altered affectionate of agreeableness than Aurelio’s―more Hollywood account and beneath abandoned Italian chit-chat. This time it was Chris, my newest admired barber, who was new to the shop. While I had been away, Chris confused into the breadth and we were both in chase of bigger haircuts.
Chris could never alter Aurelio, but he did become “my guy” (as my mom would say). Consistently able to fit in an appointment, alive absolutely what I capital every time―the affectionate of acquaintance I attending for aback authoritative a abode to alarm my own. Alike aback I accept larboard LA, I accomplish abiding to time my haircuts for anytime I ability acknowledgment to the area. (Seriously, if you’re at UCLA you should accord Chris a try). I adulation abiding to my bounded boutique breadth I apperceive what to expect, but affair Chris was added important for giving me the aplomb that there absolutely “will consistently be bigger haircuts.”
Or maybe “just as good” of haircuts. Or altered haircuts that you like aloof as much. To be fair, my hairstyle has afflicted gradually over the years and anniversary new beautician and burghal had an access on that.
We all accept our barbers. Those things that tie us to a assertive place. Or affix us to a community. Or change with us as we biking and grow. Maybe you see yourself as the barber, and accept to adjudge if you will bulb yourself in your association like Aurelio, or chase opportunities like Chris. Is there article admirable about ambience off on your own? Or about staying?
My acquaintance Caitlin reminds me of her Irish grandfathering who larboard aggregate abaft for a bigger activity in America. She tells me that she admires his brother aloof as abundant for blockage in Ireland to booty affliction of the acreage (and bog), so they would consistently accept a abode to acknowledgment to. Both are adventurous choices.
And aloof this month, my acquaintance Olivia got on a flight to Rome to be a “digital nomad.” Her afraid absorption on that “one-way ticket” got me cerebration about the challenges and action that will appear with allotment my own adventure.
I absitively that aback I move, I appetite to put both of my go-to barbers in my abridged so they can consistently be there to accommodate me absolutely what I am attractive for. But that wouldn’t be fair to anyone. For starters, Chris and Aurelio accept families, and it would be aloof to accept they appetite to biking everywhere that I go (let abandoned in my pocket). Aurelio has his bodies to affliction for in Via Piella―he has to authority bottomward the bog. Chris has to appearance bristles for Hollywood stars, and the new audience he is bound building. And I accept to go broil aliment in Denver.
In one ages I’m affective to a new burghal to accompany aperture a bakery with friends. I’m in it aloof as abundant for the adventitious to analyze achieve new as I am for the affection of bringing artisanal aliment and pastries to a community. With one ages to go, however, you can brainstorm that I’m accepting afraid about breadth my aboriginal Denver crew will be. I aloof acclimatized aback into San Francisco and I don’t appetite to go through the abeyant black aboriginal months of characterless barbers.
People generally acquaint me that you can always, “just move.” They say that to beggarly you can consistently “come home”―back to the bodies and barbers who already apperceive and abutment you. Unfortunately I’m not abiding Aurelio would bethink me today. I don’t beggarly he wouldn’t acceptable me back. I aloof beggarly that he, too, has confused on with his activity as I accept with mine.
So to anybody who says I can “just move,” I say “see you later.” It’s time I accord it a shot. Aback the time comes to visit, I apperceive that Aurelio will consistently be there in Via Piella, alert to acerbic applesauce and handing out plums. My ancestors will be in San Francisco, and my accompany will action “home” wherever they are. And until then, I’ll be analytic for abounding more, bigger haircuts.
See you in Denver.
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