A close shave in Pokhara, Nepal

A close shave in Pokhara, Nepal

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One of things I love most about travelling is that it gives you the opportunity to do things you probably wouldn’t normally do at home. Some people take that down the skydive and bungy route but I like my adventure a little more genteel than that. One thing I always like to indulge in where street barbers are prevalent is a cut-throat shave.

I’d never use a cut throat on myself for fear of getting a little too literal with how this shaving implement got its name. In the developing world, however, these razor-sharp blades are wielded with skill and dexterity by local experts, day in, day out. When I see local guys lined up at the barber, I can’t help but join the queue.

On a recent trip with the family to Nepal, I couldn’t help but notice that pretty much every third shop was a barber. Obviously, the Gillette marketing manager has got a bit of work to do in Nepal — it seems no one here is shaving at home. Here is how it all unfolded.

Pokhara, Nepal, barber

Step 1: Choose a Barber in Pokhara.

Pokhara, Nepal, barber

Step 2 – Best to be reasonably rugged when you go in.

Pokhara, Nepal, barber

Step 3: The lather stage. This one was surprisingly devoid of steaming towel.

Pokhara, Nepal, barber

Step 4: Get into the cut-throat shave.

Inside the Pokhara barber shop

Step 5: Pay particular attention to the nose. Must have been a localised version as I’ve not previously experienced close nasal attention.

Pokhara, Nepal, barber

Step 6: This is when the barber likes to negotiate the rate. (kidding)

Pokhara, Nepal, barber

Step 7: Get right into the ear.

Inside the Pokhara barber shop

Step 8: Back to the nose, this time internal. #nosehairtrim

Pokhara, Nepal, barber

Step 9: Spray face clean. Is that bottled water, sir?

Pokhara, Nepal, barber

Step 10: This is where it went a little wrong. An impromptu face massage began. Can’t say I was that into it.

Inside the Pokhara barber shop

Step 11: The towel down. Note to self — bring own towel next time.

Pokhara, Nepal, barber

The final cut!

 

Overall a totally satisfying way to spend a rainy hour in any city. A few tips if you’ve never tried it and are unsure:

  1.  Just like with anything while travelling, go somewhere busy with locals.
  2. Know what you want and stick to that. These guys are the master of the upsell — I also ended up getting a hair cut (which was long overdue mind you). It did bump the bill up quite a bit.
  3. Relax and enjoy it
  4. Just do it. This whole experience cost $7. At home it is a $30-$40 proposition. Even if you end up paying a little bit more than the guy beside you, it is still a great deal. Don’t sweat the price.

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