Sensory-rich, hair-poor


Haircut the other day was a 4-out-of-5 sensory engaging experience. Sounds of a local rock band’s cover of a Red Hot Chili Peppers hit mixed with a mother and son argument about how much nicer he is going to look with less hair (despite his protests to the contrary and that he will be the only one of his friends with short hair). The smell of
baby powder and hair product filled the room, and after my ears were sufficiently lowered I was lead into a rear room where my hair was washed. To call it merely “washing” would be an understatement, however. “World-rocking intensive scalp massage” would be far more
appropriate (though to be fair my hair did get thoroughly washed in the process. Twice, actually). Thankfully, nothing was tasted (although enjoyed the offering of a free bubble tea-style plastic-sealed container of drinking water afterwards as a token of thanks for giving them my hair/patronage). As the high powered cranial rubdown was underway my attention was on the ceiling, pictured here.

Painted pink and lit with multicolored fluorescent bulbs, it was painted by a local artist, who was told “use symbols, make it playful, but besides that, paint whatever you want”. Is this what our thoughts look like? For some reason I envision this is what the air would look like inside of a crowded elevator if everyone’s thoughts were visible. Is the intention to have your mind racing around trying to form words and interpret the shapes and
patterns, thus occupying you? Is this meant to compliment the shampooing experience? Enhance it? Distract from it? Why do other places that offer massages go for a sedate, environment, engaging as few senses as possible, while here is geared towards the opposite extreme? The other picture: a late evening stroll through downtown Yangon where there was only one shop open – a barber’s.

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