Sunday, February 17, 2013

Male grooming in Ghana - 1 of mani-stories

Good customer service dey cure for business, you dey barb? Make I show you some facial with my mani fingers so you go pedistrain your way go get some :-)
After leaving my car with my mechanic for the 23rd (exaggerated but important number) time already this year, I had some time to burn. It's a Saturday, none of my favorite football teams are playing at this time, so let me go get that haircut and chillax after. I must note here that Arsenal happened to play within this period and lost to a lower league team in the FA Cup. This spurred a whole lot of "Since Arsenal last won a trophy" jokes and articles. There is even a website for this phenomenon. Maybe by the time, I mention Arsenal in another blog post, they'd still be trophyless since 2005. I mean 2 new Popes would have been appointed during Arsenal's trophy drought. I will be hoping the second Pope will be Ghana's Peter Turkson. But back to what was happening to me when Arsenal fans were suffering another improbable result. I was "spoiling myself".

The last time I had a haircut at Relevations Unisex Salon, I enjoyed the experience so much and thought it was well worth the 5 GhC I spent. This doesn't mean the price should be increased. So I gladly walked to the second experience. The gentleman who delivered the first barbering session was not there. No fretting. The lights were out. ECG at it again. You know, Electricity Comes and Goes. Since this was broad daylight, no candles needed. Cos you know ECG does stand for "Either Candle or Generator". Was it hot yesterday afternoon though? Kaish. The salon provided a fan because I was sweating profusely. That's a good business that cares about its customers.

I was lucky to meet the manager of the salon. She did a sales pitch around the different services they offered men. Body massage, facials, pedicure, manicure. I had never had any of the latter 3 services in Ghana. A few exchanged smiles later, I had committed to doing a pedicure. For 20 GhC. I thought it was a little expensive. 5 GhC for a haircut is cool. Since 'barbering' is not an imported service in Ghana, it has reasonable prices so no need to do it myself. :-)

Not sure why, but it took longer than needed to let the barber know what kind of haircut I wanted. I once learnt that barbering cuts are measured, half, quarter etc. If there was a one-eighth and every barber anywhere understood that, I'd settle in the chair, mention "one-eighth", not to have to say another word and enjoy the haircut. We need something like that. "Just cut it really low but don't give me a Sakora (like Lord Kenya)". "Erm okay, yea, barber it to the skin". "I want it such that, when I pass my palms over my head, I want to feel nothing". "Yes, I want to feel gbesh when some chic rubs my head". "Yes, I want to look a fine bwoy, thank you very much". I joked about getting a mohawk and the barber said I would look like a "ruffian". I told those around that nah, I would rather be looking like a soccer star which would help me get more ladies. Or something like that.

I mulled over the pedicure during the barbering session and decided I might as well add the manicure. The discount offered me settled me. I settled into a couch and was joined by two ladies, one for the manicure and the other for the pedicure. I flipped through a local magazine and funny enough, I came upon a page talking about"grooming of men". Nah, I'm not mentioning the name of the magazine. Since my hands were busy, one of the ladies was so kind to flip through the magazine for me so I could read and feast my eyes on the cool pictures with which magazines are sold.

I was enjoying the pedicure and manicure paa! ɛsɛ w'ani na ɛnsɛ wokakyerɛ. You should have been there. One of my friends was. Dzifa came in briefly. The "keche" the ladies were doing to my hands and feet eh? Sɔkɔdɛ, dɛ, dɛ, wobɛte sɔkɔdɛ! I picked up some massage tips. When the lady applied the body lotion in a rather not slow motion, I ..... kaish, let me stop myself. These pedicure and manicure sessions were revelations to me. Halfway during them, I decided I would just pay the full price and remove the discount. The ladies were working hard, I thought it would be an injustice to not pay the full price. In fact, I decided to get a facial too. I might as well go for that too. As for the body massage, it would have to be delivered at my home. Cue the memories from my experience at the Boston Day Spa in Addis Ababa on February 9, 2012. :-)

I closed my eyes and settled into another seat for the facial. My eyes remained close for more than a hour. If I thought the pedicure and manicure was for a long time, the facial was long (or good) enough to make me fall asleep. In fact, I woke up to some rather loud voices and hoped it wasn't 6 pm already. We were damn close to it. In fact, (wait, did I just mention "In fact" in the space of 3 sentences?) I wish someone recorded a video of this facial session. Basketball facials are Youtube hits, sexual facials are Porn collectibles. Yes, I just wrote that. I had really "spoiled myself". Okay folks, this is a literal translation from a Ghanaian local language. It means to say "I have really given myself a treat". Turns out Dzifa's mum who I've known for years was in the salon having her hair did. She said, "so it was you giving yourself a treat over there eh?" Sure nuff! :-)

I ended up spending more than 2 hours, 33 minutes at Revelations Unisex Salon. I had just gone there for a simple haircut and they 'made' me stay there. In fact, I had plans for that time o. But I went down the slippery slope of good services. We complain about bad customer service in Ghana but this was a case of good customer service paying off for a business. Abena, the manager, was on hand to ask me how I enjoyed the services. I told her I would write about them. One guy she was chatting with asked if I was a journalist, I told him I was a blogger. A blogger who loves to write about experiences and original content. And that's what I just did.

PS: Revelations Unisex Salon needs a website. You can call them at 0244-785941. But in the mean time in between time, you can find them on Abotsima Street near MJ Grand Hotel. Or around the corner from my house. :-)

PPS: Why are there no pictures in this blog post? Cos all the images I could find are of "women". Hmm, thought for another day.
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