Winter has just come to our summer. It’s been a chilly 10 degrees today, with lots of rain. My lovely Polish babysitter Irena said tonight she feels like going to the tanning salon, just to get some sun.
Along with bread, beer, ice-cream and cycling, having a marmelade sunbed tan is big in Germany. Every one-horse town will have a couple of tanning salons to accompany their bakeries and their ice-cream parlours. Cancer and the dangers of is so not an issue. Looking good is, especially once you’ve achieved that Seville Orange hue. Match this with a few tattoos, and you’re going to go down a treat at the Saturday night bierfest.
Some of our best friends have tattoos. Seriously. And with the weather so bad, you don’t get to see them often. Thomas went to a spinning marathon, which was followed by a co-ed sauna visit (also v. popular here: a cultural phenomenon I’ve yet to explore). He said he was the only person there without a tattoo and without a pubic hairstyle. One of the most favoured tats is the antlers over the buttocks as worn by most teenage girls. Looks especially good on orange.
Having returned from a six-week holiday in South Africa without a tan, I have been looked upon pityingly. No-one can imagine going to a sunny destination and not coming back at least one shade darker. Let’s not mention that fact that I was holidaying with three young children, which completely rules out any chance of slowly and scientifically achieving a nice golden glow.
So instead, I have purchased one of these great new body lotions that contains a tanning agent and am slowly turning a delicate shade of lemon. Since it’s been raining for two weeks I haven’t yet been able to display my newly yellowed legs, but when the sun eventually shines, I hope to find myself a nice spot in society, placed somewhere between Antique White and Old Gold. If only I could get up the courage to get myself a tat.