When Fessi and Sylvia visited in March of this year
we discovered that Sylvia collected refrigerator magnets. Now to
most people this wouldn't sound all that unusual, neither did we.
What we didn't realize, is just how serious Sylvia
was about her magnets. She collected all shapes, sizes and colors
of the things and it kind of became entertaining to watch her come out
of a store in Vegas with over $90.00 in refrigerator magnets.
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After Fessi and Sylvia left for home, Teri and I
started to think about exactly what kind of souvenirs or shall we say "Refrigerator
Magnets" we would like to bring back from Switzerland.
After reading an article somewhere about sailors
during World War II getting tattooed at the various ports of call that
they visited, we thought hey why not? Besides, the article also mentioned
a different kind of souvenir that sailors often brought home with them
that had to be treated with penicillin and we figured that we were looking
for a slightly different reminder of our trip.
Anyway....we emailed Fessi and bounced our idea off
him and he set us up with a tattoo shop in Schlieren just down the hill
We had our appointment for Sunday after we returned
from the Free Willi Run in Germany but we stopped by on Friday before we
left to meet Willy who owns the shop with Ula his wife and talk about what
kind of design we wanted.
Teri wanted to have an Edelweiss the Swiss national
flower put in a band around her arm. Ula drew up the transfer that
also included Enzian flowers beside the Edelweiss with a cross below.
The Edelweiss flower is native to the alps and grows
only above 2,000 meters in elevation and it's extremely rare. Not
to mention that the Swiss government frowns on you picking one should you
Mike drew up a scene of the Matterhorn with a castle
at its base and a Swiss flag flying in front of the castle for Joe.
We had both been in a few tattoo shops in the U.S.
but we weren't prepared for the shall we say "style" of Swiss tattoo shops.
Willy and Ula's shop is immaculately clean with a
separate lobby from the tattoo rooms. When you walk in Willy will
offer you refreshments (nonalcoholic) and sit down with you to talk about
your ideas for a design.
One of the rules of the shop is NO ALCOHOL before
you get your work done. Afterwards, no problem and Willy just happened
to have these cute little cans of Løwenbrau (half liters) to relax
Once Mike and Ula had finished the transfers we were
off to our respective rooms to start the process. The tattoo rooms
themselves are surrounded by mirrors so you don't have to go to the chiropractor
to get your neck fixed from trying to watch the work in progress.
That and Willy makes sure that you have your remote for the stereo, TV
(German language only) and that your glass never gets empty.
We were both very impressed with the shop and everybody
there. It's almost a foregone conclusion that when we return to visit
Fessi and Sylvia we'll have to get another souvenir to bring home.
Needless to say we were a little tender for a couple
of days but the results were worth it. I doubt very few people these
days bring home souvenirs that they won't wind up dusting or shoving in
a box somewhere.
Many thanks to Willy, Mike and Ula.