One of the more difficult things that faces me about life in Japan is that seasonal ritual of getting a haircut. See, I like to get my hair cut freakishly short so that way I can go a good four months without needing a trim. I’ve considered shaving my head, or getting a buzz cut, but usually decide against it for two reasons. Firstly, there’s my sister’s constant taunt: “I’ll laugh if it never grows back.” Secondly, there’s the design of my face. Between my extremely large forehead and my “we-can-get-these-for-free-on-Dad’s-health-plan” geek glasses, a bald head would make me look like some form of cartoon supervillain. So, I at least need a little hair to cover my forehead. Back home, this would pose no problem, but here in Japan, where I face the language barrier at the barber shop, going for a haircut is twice as paranoia-inducing as anything I’ve ever done.