Street view barber shop


I am in Doi Can, the street that goes from Lieu Giai to the Ho Chi Minh mausoleum. If is later afternoon. People are rushing out from their offices to go home. The street gets busy. I am sitting on a typical narrow plastic chair. Knees above the waist line. Motorbikes parked one the sidewalk, pushing people to walk on the street. Shops accompany this busy and lively street up to the mausoleum. Lights are being switched.

I have to wait my turn here at the barber shop I used to come when I was living not far form here, in Lang Thuy Dien.  I want to test the number of motorbikes. This is not yet full swing rush hour and the traffic is relatively fluid. In an hour or so, it will get completely stuck with the street unable to cope with the amount of motorbikes.

I start my stop watch. In one minute 56 motorbikes pass in front of me in the direction of the mausoleum. If I take this as an average number and double it for the two directions it makes 112 motorbikes that have passed in front of me in just one minutes, almost two every second.

It is my turn. I explain with gestures that I want my beard trimmed with the N.1 in shaving in the hair trimmer. I relax. The barber shop looks directly on the road. No glass door.  It is 3 m* 3m and has just one red barber chair. No sink. The water is take from a microscopic bathroom under the stair that leads up to the mezzanine where the barber (whose name I do not know0 lives with his young wife). He wears a surgeon mask and works very fast but with precision. I look around and see various photos glued at the top of the large mirror. Their colours fading into the past. In one of them a young boy is sitting on this very chair having his hairs trimmed. A barber stands next to him and look at the camera, while holding scissors over the head of the boys as if he would have been take by surprise.  This barber could have been that boy and this could have been his father barber shop. The shop and skills transferred to a new generation as time would be immutable while indeed it produces a lot of changes, like the motorbike stream that cna be observed form this street view barber shop.