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So you think you want a tattoo?
Well I'm not surprised, they've become very popular over the last decade where it seems people have developed a desire to be unique and perhaps stand out from the crowd. You've seen it with cars where you can now order your car with your own colour scheme and individual preferences. A long way from the days when you could have any colour you liked as long as it was black. Well things have changed a lot since those early days in the car industry and now the same can be said for tattoos.
They can be as wild as your imagination and as different from the tattoos of old as chalk and cheese. Tattoo equipment has evolved and improved and the standard of skills of the Tattoo Artist has leaped ahead so that now work of photographic quality can be produced. This probably accounts for some of the surge in popularity. You can now carry your favourite work of art with you or your favourite picture of your wife, child, mother etc.
For all its appeal though you must remember that the act of tattooing is invasive and therefore hygiene is imperative. If you've decided its what you want then first make sure that the Studio you are to use is scrupulous about hygiene, has the right sterilising equipment to ensure this and that this equipment is tested and certificated.
The UK has arguably the highest standards in the world but once outside of the UK standards can drop considerably. Don't get caught out.
Any bona-fide Studio will be happy to show their certification and explain their procedures. There's no excuse nowadays for any Artist not to use new needles for each client. If yours does not then make your excuses and leave.
People ask about the pain. All I can say is if it was that bad why do so many people have second tattoos. If you're really worried about it you can use anaesthetic cream beforehand to numb the area and that is easily available at most pharmacies.
That's the serious stuff, now lets get down to the fun stuff.
You can trawl the internet for the design, photo, painting or drawing of your dreams and know that if you use the right studio, your dream work can be reproduced. You can also drink coffee and lounge in the studio of your choice, leafing through the thousands of designs they will undoubtedly have, to give you ideas. Its all good from here. You will soon see why so many film stars, musicians and people in the public eye (celebrities) love tattoos. They bring out the individuality in you because you will invariably have a tattoo that is special to you and maybe has meaning only to you.
So my final advice is, choose your Artist carefully, make sure you see many examples of his work and be sure you like his technique. Technique's can vary that doesn't mean they are good or bad, just different. However if his style doesn't suit you then he/she's not the right Artist for you. Once you have found an Artist whose work you like, talk it through with them and make sure you like them as a person. Remember you might be in close proximity to this person for maybe 2 hours or more and if they are arrogant or sharp it might not be the pleasant experience it should be.
Once you're sure you've found the right Artist and Studio spend enough time to be sure the design you have chosen is the right one for you. If you take all this on-board you will find that your tattoo is a joy that will give you pleasure for all time.
Updated Aug 9, 2010
Address: Larnaka Ink, opposite the Police Station
Something attracted me into this bar. It was the music. Walking through Laika Geitona, just off the tourist track in Larnaka, I was drawn to a bar by the sound of plaintive song. A group of guys were singing along to some traditional 50 year old Cypriot ballads. Alone, I sat down outside and ordered wine. As the night went on there were more surprises. An accomplished musician started playing the oud. There was a guy balancing a tower of glasses on his head. This was all impromptu and uncontrived as this is a place where locals meet to have fun. I was the only accidental tourist there. The owner Christos is the electricity that creates the great atmosphere. At intervals he would burst into song or dance out of sheer glee. A big man with a big personality, he made me feel totally at home and took me on as a kindred spirit. Not knowing the language was no impediment in this setting. If the music speaks to you, you're in. A wonderful experience to be remembered.
Dress Code: What dress code
Written Oct 10, 2011
Address: Laiki Geitona, Larnaka
Favorite thing: Old Aqueduct known as "The Kamares", stands outside the town on the way to Limassol. It was built in Roman style in 1745 to carry water from a source about 6 miles south of Larnaka into the town. The aqueduct is illuminated at night.
Written Oct 16, 2007
Favorite thing: The salt lake is near Larnaka International Airport. It fills with water during the winter and is visited by flocks of flamingoes who stay here from November till the end of March. It dries up in the summer. It used to yield a good quality of salt which was is scraped from its dried up surface.The salt from this lake is now considered unfit for human consumption.
Written Oct 16, 2007
Favorite thing: Hala Sultan Tekke is about 5 kilometers west of Larnaka, on the banks of the Salt Lake. It is equivalent to the Christian "monastery". Within the precincts of this Tekke is the tomb of Umm Haram, said to be the foster mother of Mohammed. According to Muslem tradition Umm Haram died on this spot in 647 A.D. while accompanying the Arab invaders. She was buried here and later the Ottomans built the present mosque in her honour.
Written Oct 16, 2007
Favorite thing: This magnificent Orthodox Church was built in the town over the tomb of St. Lazarus, the brother of Mary and Martha. He died here and was buried in the church named after him. In 890 A.D. his tomb was found bearing the inscription "Lazarus the friend of Christ". The marble sarcophagus can be seen inside the church under the Holy of Holies.
Written Oct 16, 2007