Carlos Domingues - I run an equal opportunity barber chair.

Carlos Domingues - I run an equal opportunity barber chair.

ZH: Where are you from?
I am originally from Sesimbra, in Portugal. A small fishing town 60 km south of Lisbon. I was born in Lisbon, raised in Sesimbra.

ZH: Where have you lived previously?
CD: I have lived in London since the age of 17, for over 20 years until 2018. I then moved to Ružomberok in Slovakia.

ZH: What brought you to Ružomberok?
CD: I came to Ružomberok because of my partner Barbora is from here. My daughter was also born here. Both my partner and my kids where already living here for some  time while I stayed in the UK.

ZH: What do you think about the dressing style of local people in Ružomberok?
CD: I never cared much for fashion, I always bought and wore clothes that made me feel comfortable. But as I am getting older I suppose I am starting to come into my own. As for Ružomberok, it is not different from any other place in the World. Some people have a fashion sense, the rest of people are wearing clothes for the purpose, functionality, or comfort. It is the same all over the World - some have it, some would like to have it - a fashion sense I mean. 

ZH: You are working as a barber in M.R. Štefánik in Ružomberok. What does your usual day at the barbers look like?
CD: Yes, I am a barber at Mr Štefánik in Ružomberok. I work with two other barbers Richard Jankov and Samuel Varga.
There aren´t two days alike, and that's what I love about my job, the uncertainity of what's going to come. I love to work with people, talk to people, teach, learn, and share my life experiences. I talk about my wins and losses. In between all of that I cut hair and beards. I try not only to make my clients happy about themselves, but also their partners, wifes, mothers etc. But that is the most difficult, because let me be honest, cutting hair is easy, but making people happy is more difficult. I know, I have a wife and two kids...

ZH: I brought my kids to you to style their hair. I had problem to find a willing hairdresser who would cut afro hair in our town - you were the only one. I like originality, and the fact you talk English to us throughout cutting our hair. Who are your customers?
CD: Thanks for trusting my abilities, its true - I haven't had much experience with the afro hair, but I try to learn and get better. I am no better, nor worst at cutting hair than my colleagues, I just had a different and longer journey.

Who are my customers? That is a very interesting question? Not that it matters to me, but some of the people that have sat in my chair are students, professors, doctors, policemen, military, builders, businessmen, actors and professional football stars, skateboarders, Slovak nationals, Spanish, English, French, Dutch, German, Sweedish, Icelandic, Finish, etc. I have given haircuts to men and women, young and old, white and black, Christian and Muslim, In my chair all are welcome, I can honestly say that I run an equal opportunity barber chair.

Carlos at Mr. Štefánik, 2022.

ZH: Do you see yourself staying in Ružomberok?
CD: Unfortunately not. Not because I don't like Slovakia, quite the opposite. I feel very welcome here. People are friendly and welcoming, but home is home and mine is Portugal. I left Portugal almost over 20 years ago to go to the UK, and now I am in Slovakia my next stop is Portugal, drinking cold beer on the beach in my town.

ZH: What do you like about the Slovakian mentality and what would you change?
CD: People are friendly and welcoming, honest, generous, and sincere - for the majority of the people that I have met, the same can not be said about some of the older generations, many are reluctant to change, and I can understand why. (Sometimes it's easier to deal with the evil that you know than that evil that you don't.) So change cames at a great price and sacrefice. As for what I would change, not sure. There is plenty of work to be done.
There seams to be no urgency from government in wanting to move the country forward, from their approach to foreign emigrants and investors, to unfinished highways with no date in sight, there is plenty that I could say or complain about. I am not saying that everything is bad, its not, there is no perfect place in this World. We can all learn from each other, some things Slovakia does very well, Portugal does other things very well, there is plenty we can learn from each other.

ZH: What is your favourite style?
CD: I don't really have a favourite style per say, but I would've liked to live in the 60's and 70's. I guess I am more inclined to like rock and roll and rockabilly style, jeans t-shirts denim jackets, etc. But I am not limited to just this, I like to feel comfortable in what I wear, so I also like casual and comfortable. I am like a chameleon, I adapt and reinvent myself as and when I need to.

ZH: Why have you decided to celebrate your forthcoming birthday at M.R. Štefánik?
CD: We all have suffered during this Covid-19 situation, but our clients didn't abandon us and neither have we abandoned them, so we thought it would be a good idea to say thank you to Ruzomberok for their continued support, and as my birthday was coming up I thought it would be a good idea to combine them and have a party.
everyone loves party and drinking, so when I mentioned to my colleagues and boss everyone loved and supported the idea, we will have a DJ, a tattoo artist, a bar etc. It may even be considered my party but it would not be possible without the funclub of Ružomberok. One of our clients will be the DJ on duty, another will be taking pictures, other clients have helped with equipment, my colleagues of course have helped greatly and so has my boss.

ZH: Where do you see yourself in 10 years time?
CD: Sitting on a beach in Portugal with my partner Barbora and my kids Renato and Marina. My plan is to take my family to Portugal, teach my children about my country and culture, our rich history. Show them and rediscover my own country, people, beaches, cities etc. Portugal its not just Cristiano Ronaldo, football and beaches, there are plenty of unknown treasures awaiting to be rediscovered. Like in Slovakia, Portugal is also full of good people. So that's where I see myself in 10 years - Portugal.