The cross-cultural element of my taekwondo class is one of my favorite things about it. Our usual Friday instructor is a funny and fierce headscarf-wearing devout Muslim, and her Tuesday and Thursday counterpart is a tiny woman of Indian heritage who, as she puts it, "was on track to be an Olympic gymnast until I grew boobs." She is now a second-degree black belt and entirely capable of folding, spindling and mutilating me even though I am ten inches taller and probably at least 60 pounds heavier than she is. Both of these women are forces of nature, albeit in entirely different ways, and both of them rock.
At any rate, the Indian instructor showed up to class today (she often does even when she's not teaching) with henna tattoos all over her hands and feet. Apparently her aikido class last night was cancelled, and home with nothing else to do, she decided to experiment with a tube of henna paste. I've gotten henna tattoos before, but only as a child--it's been years since I've even seen the stuff. It comes in something like a toothpaste tube with a more conical end and a smaller opening. She brought it to class to show us, and before we knew it, two of us had our own tattoos! The picture above is of mine, drawn freehand in about two minutes by this multi-talented woman.
The best part was Thing One's reaction. He, being unaware that henna tattoos wear off in a week or two and that the paste (still on in the picture) is much darker that the final tattoo, was more than a little taken aback and asked my husband what in the world I'd been thinking and if I was going to get in trouble! I gather from talking to my friend--who also now has a neck tattoo--that her children had a similar reaction. We decided that it was a shame that we'd explained. :)