I was looking for a litter bin on the shore of a touristic lake in the mountains near Nikko, Japan, but there were no litter bins around. Perturbed, I asked a man attending a pleasure boat dock if there was anywhere to put my rubbish. He agreed that there were no rubbish bins around, but said he was happy to take my rubbish from me and burn it. Which he did. Our encounter became a conversation, and he came around to asking me about my hair. Were my dreadlocks, he wanted to know, extensions? No, I told him: they are all real. I thanked him for mentioning my hair, and was just about to explain what I was doing when he saw a group of tourists across the road and excused himself, as he had to show them to the boats. By and by, he came back from his duties and we continued our conversation. I told him that I was having my dreadlocks gradually removed by anyone who took an interest in them.
The glee with which this man cut my hair was balanced by a professional flair that few others matched. When I asked what should be done with the lock, his semi-professional advice was to tie it on to the end of another dreadlock, and that is what I did.
The group of tourists came back from their boat trip, and wandered off the pier, passing by where I was seated tying the newly cut dreadlock onto one that was still attached.
Rather taken aback, I asked him why he thought so, and he mentioned that it was my hair that he thought was beautiful. So I told him my spiel, offering my scissors, and it was his turn to be taken aback.
He agreed to cut off a lock with his free hand and I made sure he knew to cut the hair at the root. At this, the ladies standing around said, "No! You can't do that!!"
But he did.
(Please click here to find out what happened to the first extended dreadlock, and here to find out what happened to the second extended dreadlock)
|Two locks dangling|