My Turkish Fire Shave in Istanbul

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Since I tend to travel two to three months at a time, the issue of getting a haircut in a foreign country comes up usually at least once on each trip.  In this case, I had an inkling that I could skip getting a haircut in Kenya or Tanzania, and that Turkey would be the place to get the job done.  I was not disappointed!

My first afternoon in Istanbul was spent scouting out the nearest source of fermented liquid refreshment (Turkey is predominately a Muslim country so booze is not available on every corner), in my wandering, I happened across a barbershop and made a mental note to return in the next few days.  However my first full day took me off in another direction, to the famed Blue Mosque,

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and the Hagia Sophia Museum

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My second day was planned to hit the famed Grand Bazaar, and 
Mısır Çarşısı (a covered, 17th-century market known as the Egyptian Bazaar, with spice, food & textile shops), along with stops at a few Mosques such as the very impressive Suleymaniye Mosque (much better than the Blue Mosque in my view, at least for photos).

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On the way to the bazaars, I stopped for a trim at the barber shop I had found earlier, and sat down for a cut.  The barber did a great job (actually a better cut than I normally get in Canada, at a better price), but he wasn’t finished with me quite so easily…

First he used a cotton swab to apply some volatile liquid (alcohol I presume) to my ears, then he pulled out a lighter with a two inch flame and proceeded to apply the fire to my ears!  Moving it very quickly he was expertly able to take off all the fine hair on outside and partway into my ears.  While my ears were literally burning, I actually felt no pain and hardly any heat, but I could certainly smell the scent of burnt hair…  so indeed, the Turkish barber had just given my ears a shave using fire!

Not my video, but this is what it was like:

 

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