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Haircuts in Vietnam

In '69, after spending a month or so humping in the Plei Trap Valley,
we returned to Mary Lou, just south of Kontum. We got haircuts,
showers and clean clothes. The Vietnamese barber cleaned a bunch of
crud out of my ears using some long picks. Suddenly I could hear
again. Telling this reminds me of all the debris that is stirred up
when a chopper lands on the LZ's we carved out of the jungle. Next
the barber placed my chin in one hand and with the other hand on the
back of my skull, gave a sharp twist to the left then the right. I
thought I heard or felt some cracking, but suddenly my shoulders and
neck were unbelievably loose. I think carrying a ruck for so long had
kind of welded my upper torso into a form that made carrying the heavy
loads easier, but standing straight up a chore. Anyhow, I was watching
Anthony Bourdain, "No Reservations" the other night, and he was
sampling the food of China. I went to brush my teeth during a
commercial, and when I came back, Tony was in the barber's chair,
getting his ears picked, his neck twisted. Then the barber grabbed
Boudain's left hand, and shook until the arm undulated like jello,
then he did the other arm. The only extra my barber ever offers is to
trim the hair growing out of my ears.

Re: Haircuts in Vietnam

Tom: Did he also shave your forehead? I remember the first time I got a haircut in 'Nam and the barber did that. I remember thinking "We must look incredibly hairy to these people."

Re: Haircuts in Vietnam


Your story brought back memories of my times at Mary Lou. I don't mind telling you that I didn't care much for haircuts and it was always an issue with my higher, highers. I thought military haircuts sucked (white sidewalls). I think the same guy cut my hair. It seemed to me it cost 35 cents but I gave him 50 cents after the razorcut all over my face and the customary kneck break.

Also, I might mention, as Maddoc said, the razor cut all over the face was weird. I, also, had a little reservation about a Vietnamese using a razor on me in view of stories you'd hear about VC being the local barber during the day.

John R...

Re: Haircuts in Vietnam

Doc, I can't remember about the forehead, but like John I was kind of wondering about the Vietnamese putting a razor to my neck. I mean if we had to worry about little kids with Coca Cola.

Re: Haircuts in Vietnam

Tom I can't ever remember having a regular barber give us hair cuts, but I do remember my first hair cut from my Lt. from Guam, when he was done I came out looking like a Montagnard back in 69

Re: Haircuts in Vietnam

Tom, I don't remember ever getting a hair cut, but then again I can't remember what I had for breakfast this morning.

Re: Haircuts in Vietnam

I remember getting a haircut back in the rear. I always said "No shave" and "no lining" I kept a loaded
.45 cal underneath the sheet as I watched Him in the mirror. It was sometime in 1970 He and one of the KP's
from the messhall was found dead in the wire with "satchel charges" and a map of the compound.
Spotted by night vision devices. I made sure I did't
trust Them. Still most of Them was still Your enemy.