Sunday, October 23, 2011

Bang Bang Again

The last annual health and beauty expo happened earlier this year. The first thing the organizers need to work on is their understanding of annual. The second thing is advertisement. The third thing is timing. An under advertised expo should not be seven hours long. By the time S and I got there, it was emptyish. Not only was it lacking patrons, it was lacking presenters. When we'd gone a few months ago, the rooms were filled with tables offering interesting and odd products and services. This time, there were some of the same presenters that I was not interested in last time and then maybe five new ones.

We lapped around the first room. Then we headed down the hall and lapped around the second room. The most interesting table was the one that was selling crystals. They were very pretty. We looped around, where the woman at the natural products table said, Hi girls, We have more than just baby products--we have cleaning products, too.

Translation: You girls are obviously not old enough to have children but you are old enough to clean.

Finally, after we sat on a couch and read through the two free magazines, S got the idea that she could get a henna tattoo. We walked over to the table and the women were very excited about it all. She chose a pattern to go on her finger and up the back of her hand. I watched. As the woman free-handed the tattoo, a very tall, very inquisitive woman asked one of the other women a bunch of questions, rapid-fire. Then the tall woman bent over and began asking questions of the woman tattooing S. The tattoo woman had to stop to answer because there were so many questions. Then the tall woman squatted down to ask more questions at the tattoo lady went back to S's hand. This woman really enjoyed asking questions. She went away just as S's tattoo was finished. S had to let it dry and then put a sock on it. The other woman handed me a henna kit to use at home and told me to come back later so I could get a small one.

I gave the kit to S since she'd paid for the tattoo. I didn't get one mostly because I didn't feel like having to protect it for the rest of the night, which was a problem for most women who got one and then went on to the drumming session.

That's why we were there. The drumming. S's sister was leading a drum circle exercise as the last activity of the night. We had thought that because the day was so long and most of the presenters had packed up and left, the circle might be empty. However, people gathered around. The circle grew. We had to add chairs.

The woman who wound up sitting next to me was basically a drumming expert. As we passed the shaky apples, she told me my hand was in the wrong place. Then she slammed the apple into my palm. Then she started picked up the dropped ones and slamming two in my hand at once even though S's sister had said to not pick up the dropped apples. She seemed very annoyed that my name was very similar to her name, mine having one more syllable. She played the drums frantically and switched the instrument she used no less than three times.

With all that chaos, it was still a great time. I mean, who can have a bad time while banging on a drum? Everyone in the circle was smiling. Everyone enjoyed it, even S who had pulled herself out of the circle as to not ruin her henna. The woman who had gotten tattoos that night previously were left with scraped off paste on their arms in some places. Also, the very tall inquisitive woman seemed to enjoy the drumming. She didn't join the circle. She stood outside of it and held up her camera high to snap a few shots of people she did not know doing something she was not doing. That sounds about right.

By the time we got out of there, S's henna was mostly in tact. I'm looking forward to eventually getting one when I don't have to worry about taking my long sleeves off over the paste without ruining it.

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