After taking a whole year to work up the courage, I finally persuaded myself to get a haircut in a 'QB House'.

QB House is a Japanese chain of low-cost, rapid barbers offering hair cuts for 1000 Yen (less than £5). As if the speed and price had not already removed enough humanity from the experience 'booking' a hair cut is yet another exeercise in well honed time management. To schedule oneself for a hair cut, one must use an automated ticketing machine. This then links to a set of green, amber and red lights indicating the length of time a prospective customer must wait.

As far as I am aware, this phenomenon is limited and, while my hair cut was not the worst I have experienced, I would not be sad to see it stay that way… my scalp is still recovering from being hoovered at the end of the hair cut and I am currently sporting the looks something akin to that of a butch lesbian (or, if you are Japanese, apparently Matt Damon).

I suspect I will go back to my regular barbers next time…