After a week of transition, I'm finally moved into my new place, so blogging should resume at regular intervals once again. As an aside, Comcast can't come out until later this week so I linked up to the Minneapolis Citywide Wifi. It sucks.
Friday the 23rd was my birthday and, after a failed attempt to get an appointment for 4 manicures at the Aveda Institute after lunch at Brasa, I decided that we would all go get henna tattoos. There's that place in Eden Prairie Center that does henna and eyebrow threading, but it seemed like a long way to drive for such a little thing. Then Erik remembered that a girlfriend of his got henna done at the Somali mall. Google led us to 24th and Elliot, to a concrete structure more or less void of windows and certainly no henna shops. It turns out we were at the wrong Somali mall. (Yes, there are multiple Somali malls in South Minneapolis.)
Some nice ladies directed us to the Suuqa Karmel Somali mall at Lake and Pillsbury, where the henna tattooing can be found in suite #110. You'll recognize it by the complete lack of any indicators that henna tattooing is done there. You will, however, see a lot of long black dresses adorned with sequins.
So four of us walk in, two girls, two guys, without really giving it a second thought. My cousin Tony actually stops just short of the back room where the tattooing is done, since he wasn't really thrilled about the idea. But Cristina, Erik and I just stroll on in, to where at least four Somali ladies have their sleeves up around their elbows and their skirts pushed up to their knees. Erik was, of course, quickly ushered out -- "women only!" -- and joined my cousin in the front room to pout. No henna tattoos for boys. Modesty aside, no wonder they were pretty wide-eyed when a guy walked into their henna salon. According to Wikipedia: "Traditionally, only women apply this body art and it is absolutely strange for men to apply such art on their hands and feet."
Our henna tattooist, Sabrina (whom we later renamed Sabrina Fierce), was a master of multi-tasking. Not only did she complete both Cristina's and my tattoos in like 5 minutes, she did while texting.
Waiting for my henna to dry:
Getting knifed (the fun part):
Note the six-year-old giving a henna tattoo in the background. She had a sucker in one hand and a squeeze-bag applicator in the other. Sabrina Fierce couldn't have been older than 20 and she said she'd been doing henna for at least 12 years.
The tattoos were $10 each and I'd totally go back for another one. We went right around 3-3:30pm when school got out so it was a little crowded with youngsters, but we probably only waited about 5 minutes for Sabrina Fierce to get started.