Getting a haircut in Darfur is always an amusing way to spend an afternoon - particularly if the victim of the cut is not yourself but another, even more gullible aid worker.
While yours truly continues to saw off her own locks with a handy little pen knife (trust me, anonymity is not the only reason you're not seeing my picture up there in my profile), a friend decides to drag me down to the market today for the full-on salon experience.
The salon (an open-air affair sporting a collection of grotesque Craig David posters) is very excited indeed to get to work on this crazy khawaja with the shaggy mane, and the master immediately whips out his blunt razor blade and begins hacking away at my poor guy's head.
We exchange a terrified glance, but - with half of his hair already sailing to the floor - my friend grimly resigns himself to his fate. The blade flies through the air, and is eventually propped behind a comb so that the cut can be finished with off with a close, even (well, sort of) crop.
Impressively, my friend doesn't flinch - not even when the razor blade suddenly swings down to the scraggly beard on his chin, and our maestro begins to give him what looks like an intensely painful dry shave (hey - these guys are tough, no need to bother with girlie stuff like soap).
Just when we think things cannot get any worse, a final whip of the blade slices across my friend's forehead (which - as the slowly gathering crowd vehemently agrees - is a completely normal body part to shave). At least now his entire face looks red and tortured, so my friend pays and enthusiastically insists he's very happy with the service.
As we walk away he clocks the smirk that is slowly creeping up my face, and - to his credit - manages to immediately silence it with the simple but ominous threat of: "Just shut up you, or you won't get any sympathy from me after your next local-sugar-gunk bikini wax either."
Tags: Sudan, Darfur, aid worker, hair cut, razor, bikini wax