Currently engaged in a brief spell of Amsterdam nostalgia. This state of mind might be aided by a wide range of occurrences such as the slow pace in the half deserted office, the number of aloof tourists on the streets of Stockholm, my current inability to write any decent fiction and memories of Amsterdam park life.
With the rise of Facebook one has the possibility to follow many a strange people on their interactive journeys through life. One of these people is my former Amsterdam hairdresser. Hailing from the island of Sicily this formerly long haired man used to come to my place and cut my hair with his set of shiny scissors. Our meetings were set up via Facebook where he often wrote somewhat confusing messages, often with his Caps Lock button on fire. He was a man filled with a laughter that kept reminding me that life is actually a living loud thing and not just time passing.
Even though his initial spell in Amsterdam had been filled with disappointment, as the job he was promised in the fashion circuit never ended up being what he hoped for, he carried with him a chronic positive outlook on things. As he cut my hair, while providing flattering comments that almost made me consider a career as a hair model, we spoke of dreams and life. His strong ideas of following dreams and taking chances using your heart as the only compass was inspiring in a way that successful people in magazine articles never are. This guy was fighting a disappointing working life, the Dutch winter, lost love and the Dutch language (which we laughed about a lot) at the same time. And he cut hair like a magician; softly and happily.
Except for being a hair dresser he was also a Buddhist. Since I left Amsterdam I often see his status updates, most often links to music videos with female divas and sentences ending with extreme smileys (such as :))))))))))))). Today he posted a remix of a song by Adele; A guy with a Dutch name commented by writing I LOVE YOU. My former hairdresser replied, in Dutch, me too. And even though I cut my hair yesterday in Stockholm, and the Turkish/Syrian woman was very nice and laughed when I told her that I really wanted to go to Damascus, I felt nostalgic about the haircutting moments with this Sicilian gay Buddhist hairdresser.
There was some kind of honesty, some kind of mending of completely different backgrounds into a understanding of things that happened on a regular basis in Amsterdam which is something worth feeling nostalgic about at times. And we all know that the quest for the perfect hairdresser is a time consuming and often disappointing one.