About four weeks ago I cut my hair, which may seem a trival incident to bring up now, but I regret not writing it about it at the time.
You see, my hair was becoming really quite long and unkempt, and made me look like some sort of wild tramp. Also, the length at the back made me appear, from certain angles, to have a mullet in an early stage of formation. While a mightily admirable hairstyle, it perhaps wasn't right for me at this stage in my life, so finally it had to go.
I wanted to get rid of all this excess hair a long time before, but couldn't. Even through the sticky heat of summer, I allowed the hair on my head to keep growing. Not through choice, but to win an important bet I'd made with Matt in February. Simply, we bet each not to cut our hair until September 11th, and the winner would get 20,000 Won (about £10). Matt gave in after just a few weeks, quite pathetically, but I endeavoured on and when it got to the point - about July - where my hair was becoming silly, I'd gone too far to chop it all off.
Anyway, I won my bet and could do my head a mercy and remove the hair. I didn't cut it too short, just a neat going-over with the clippers. I look quite, quite different.
It was the reaction the next day in school that made this all so memorable. I definitely looked better, but to children who have been used to Nev-teacher with lots of hair, any change from the status quo seems odd, and they were not reticent in showing this.
I tell you, it's a sobering experience to walk into 9 classes of 12 children in the course of a day, and to have each class literally screaming with laughter. Not just laughing, but shouting and yelling with delerium. As if it was the craziest, strangest, most peculiar thing they had ever seen, not to mention perpetrated by this white monkey of a teacher.
The laughter abated after a couple of days, although the whispers of "Nebu mori" (Nev-hair) took a lot longer. The kids have got used to my new, improved look and I am certainly much happier. Apart from being a hell of a lot easier to deal with, it looks far more civilised and I wouldn't say it unlikely for the upturn in my charms.
It shouldn't have to be said, however, that no such drastic action will be done to my beard, claimed sometimes to be magical. I would rather lose a finger than my beard. Although probably I wouldn't go as far to lose an entire limb. But sometimes you just don't know how you'd choose until forced with the decision. Let's pray I never have to make that choice.