August 16: abroad = religion and cigarettes but no tattoos

When you are abroad there is religion and cigarettes, but no tattoos. Men keep coming past in vans with loudspeakers saying something very urgent in foreign. It sounds like there is a zombie invasion. All women and children to the air-raid shelters. If you are bitten you will have ten minutes before the contamination takes its course. Do not be afraid to behead close relatives. I ask Helen what they are saying. Apparently, they are selling watermelons. There is a lot of religion that they put on loudspeakers too, to keep you up all night, because there are vigils. 15 August is the Assumption of Our Lady, the day she went up to heaven in a rocket (or died). We all have to be subjected to this strange tale for days beforehand by loudspeaker, the Orthodox cleric and his acolytes singing it for hours on end. And then she went up in a rocket. Or maybe it was more in the manner of a space shuttle, they sing. Amen. This is sung in a 4-part version for two baritones, one tenor and a bass.
On the beach (in my family we used to say the sands), on the sands I have seen one tattoo. This is remarkable. I have been on tattoo watch for some weeks and can now even spell it with two t’s. The man I saw with a tattoo was playing beach (or sands) tennis. He had a discreet triangle on one calf. You can imagine the tattooist. Ah! A customer! Just a triangle please. Christ! What was the point? All those years in tattoo school. He probably just got Stavros his apprentice to do it. Hey Stavros! Go to! Then lit up another cigarette and looked out at the long lonely beach (or sands).

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