It is summer, and it is hot, hot, hot.
So hot that people wear little nothings - men open their shirts and their huge bellies have the freedom David Hasselhoff was fighting for; and extremely well-nourished women wear mini-shorts, and thousands of them display huge tattoos.
Everywhere you look at their generously exposed bodies.
The University of Leipzig estimated that
19 million people in Germany have Tattoos. (A third of the people under thirty has at least one).
And these tattoos are not the teeny weeny Chinese ideographs (how come that I first wrote "idiograph"?)
(The photo above I found in a glossy magazine) In Berlin you can admire hole landscapes on legs, arms, shoulders, backs and sometimes even on faces.
Tattoos are not without risk.
Everybody (!EVERYBODY!) in Germany who owns a "starter kit" is allowed to tattoo his
- You risk an aesthetic disaster (just look around!!)
- You risk your health: There might be poisonous parts in the colours which are not designed for tattoos, but for car paint (honestly!).
And if you want to get rid of "I love you, Annicka!" for "I love you, Babette!"?
Well: You have to pay: sometimes thousands of Euros if her name was a long one (choose Babs instead next time!)
You can a) let somebody cut it out (iiiiih!); or b) let them use chemical etching lotions (ouch!) or - and that will be the choice of most: c) laser.
I hope that these three painful methods are used by doctors only.
So, don't hum Bob Dylan's song "Don't think twice - it's alright!" when you enter my tattoo study --- it might be the wrong song.
"Needles and Pins!"