So off we went to the "other side" of the city where we could actually find our henna parlor. Lynze had secured a recommendation from a local lady and when we arrived for our body art the woman behind the counter said "Oh you must be the foreigners that Fatima told us about." Foreigners? I don't know if this is a good start.
For most local women the traditional spots for henna designs are on the hands and feet. The three of us all wanted to choose places where it could be revealed or concealed at will so we had to be a bit more creative. I had decided on my back, Lynze her side, and Fiona her foot. After slipping off our shoes and entering the room lined with cushions I was approached by one of the ladies who asked if I was ready to begin. I proceeded to ask if there was a design book that I could look at and she looked at me like I was crazy. (Stupid foreigner - no doubt).
It was a great experience and we ended up having alot of fun with the Indian ladies who specialized in the art. They were warm and funny and despite a few language barriers they were able to educate us on the finer points of the tradition.
The final product is much lighter than what you see above. The gel takes about 45 minutes to dry and then you have to wait another 90 before you chip off the gel to reveal the final design. It will last 1-2 weeks depending on how you 'care' for it. Soap and loofahs being the number one enemy. We were told on our way out the door to rub Vic's Vapor Rub on it to intensify the color and prolong the life. Vic's? Who the heck figured that out?