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In some ways, this blog and writer follow a conservative path; in some ways that is. There’s an affinity with the old, ‘straightforward’ way of doing things, finding comfort in a relatively uncomplicated life.

Alfredo's & Mauricio's Barber Shop, Calle 31, between Carreras 5 and 6, Bogotá D.C., Colombia.

A dab hand: Alfredo knows best. (Photo: Pieter Hupkes.)

In this regard, for example, it’s only recently I bit the bullet and bought a mediocre smart phone. This was, and more or less has been, strictly (the odd, failed Tinder use aside) for business reasons. At times I wish I didn’t have it. OK, it has led to an increase in efficiency in some aspects, yet it has also made it more difficult to ‘switch off’; a matter of upping the technology discipline there I guess.

This low-key, unflashy lifestyle also expresses itself in the places I like to socialise in, as well as keeping up with new trends and general interest things, especially in relation to cinema/TV and, you might even say fashion.

Now while this conservative or what could be considered, very loosely, secular-ascetic way of living generally conjures up images of dullness and boredom, that’s not always the case.

On the contrary, old school can be very much cool. For one, there’s the old school music (here I’m referring to 80s and 90s dance/pop classics – legendary stuff). You’ve the The Godfather movie trilogy (well the first two at least), which you’ll still do well to better in a host of ways.

There’s also the timeless, traditional three-piece suit – always a winner.

And then you have the going-out-of-fashion barber, somebody I had the pleasure to reacquaint myself with here in Bogotá recently. No room for fancy Dan, hip, metrosexual (if not something else) stylists here. No, we’re talking proper old school. An experienced hand, replete with all the time-hallowed tools of the trade – and the odd electric razor thrown in for good measure.

Plus, in line with that experience, barber knows best. So used to the in-and-out in minutes, ‘number three on the back and sides, trim on top’ job that I habitually get, I erroneously regurgitated this line to my new found barber, Alfredo (the very able and affable assistant to the equally affable Mauricio).

Mauricio's Barber Shop, Calle 31 between Carrera 5 & 6, Bogotá D.C., Colombia.

Tools of the trade: Old school is best. (Photo: Pieter Hupkes.)

He proceeded, with grace, to completely ignore me and do what he does best; cut men’s hair with an exceptional dedication and attention to detail. I sat in his rusting barber’s chair for close to an hour as he seemed to practically examine and trim each hair on my head individually (decreasing in numbers as they are).

It was quite the relaxing, almost magical experience, well removed from the usual rapid-fire approach you get in most hairdressers and ‘new-age’ stylists. And all done for the very modest price of $5,000 COP, or less than two euro if you like.

I guess I better enjoy it while it lasts; guys like Alfredo are hard to find these days. Well there’s that as well as the fact that trips to get my hair cut may no longer be required in the near future; I’ve hit the other side of thirty now.

It wouldn’t be going against some of my conservative characteristics to use a bit of Regaine to stem that tide, would it?
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La vida en Colombia desde la perspectiva de un periodista y locutor Irlandés, quien ha estado viviendo en el país desde 2011. El blog explora temas sociales y cultura, interacción con los nativos, viajes, actualidades y mucho más. Escucha su podcast acá: https://www.spreaker.com/show/the-colombia-cast.

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