It's been a funny old week. What with computers going wrong and being let down by Mexicans, being on the edge of a dose of man-flu and generally feeling that I'm not made for getting up and going to work every single day. It's not been the best, but hey.
So anyway, with all of this behind me, I approached the weekend with gusto - determined to enjoy myself and to forget the ridiculousness of the working week.
Friday is a half day for me, and my weekend starts at 12.30 every week. It's a great opportunity to run errands that have eluded me in the week, without losing my Saturday morning to them.
I got a couple of tasks out of the way - bank, post office - and then, in a bid to try and get all of my worst weekend chores over and done with in one swell foop, I decided to bite the bullet and go for a haircut.
I hate getting my hair cut. Normally it's something that I reserve for when I go back to the UK, and I can then go to the barber that I've been going to since I was a small boy. He knows not to talk too much, he knows how I like it cut, he's not expensive, he gets a good tip, everyone's happy.
Even though I'm going to the UK on Thursday, I know that while I'm there I won't have time for a haircut. I have a ridiculous schedule that is already double booked....lord. So, I needed to find a hairdresser.
I made a pact with myself that I would walk into the first one that did men's cuts. I wouldn't hesitate. I wouldn't think 'there'll be a better one in a few metres'. I wouldn't 'not like the look' of the barber. I would just go in and get it cut.
So, I do this.
And this is how I find myself sat in the chair of Chatty McChatty and his wife Talky McTalky.
Shit, these people could talk. And the shit they could talk too. At one point I thought my ears were bleeding from the constant chatter, but it just turned out to be a slight nick with the scissors. That's how bad it was.
And the chatter went on and on. At one point, he left me in the chair, went and put the kettle on and made himself and wifey a cup of coffee. And all this time he didn't stop talking at me.
The main topic of conversation was the fact that I am German. I'm not German, naturlich, but no amount of protesting on my part would convince them otherwise.
"You're are German, no?" was his opening gambit.
"No, English. I'm English".
"He says he's English" said chatty to his wife.
"Mais non, il est allemand. Without any question" said the wife.
"Truly, I am English" I protested.
"You speak with a German accent"
"I can speak with a German accent if you want, but it's not my usual speaking voice. I am English, you see".
"Well, I don't believe you. To me, you are German".
And the interactive part of the conversation ended there. For the rest of the haircut, he and his wife talked at me about the places in Germany that they had visited and how much they loved cruising the Rhine.
Apparently, Munich held fond memories for them too, as did the Bodensee. They had visited the Volkswagen plant in Wolfsburg and been charmed by the efficiency, and they had eaten curry wurst on the Rieperbahn and admired the hookers.
"The German hookers are very beautiful. You are a very lucky man to have the choice of so many beautiful German women" the wife said to me.
I feared any conversation with them that was based on my denying having an interest in Hamburg hookers would tip me over the edge.
I sat. I closed my eyes. I waited for it to end.
And finally the ordeal was over. I thanked Chatty and Talky, paid and headed to the door.
"You won't get a cut like that in Berlin", Chatty shouted after me.
"Bis spater! Und danke schon!" Shouted his wife.
God help me. I needed a drink.