Friday, September 30, 2011

Got Henna?

So…I am so breaking out of my box these days.  In fact, I can’t even see where I left it.

The kids and I decided to head out to a park this evening around 7:30.  We drove aimlessly trying to find this ONE park that they wanted to go to but it wasn’t to be.  So, I decided to just look for parks in my GPS and the one we were closest to is the one we went to.  It was called the Mushrif Women & Children’s Park.  Apparently it’s only open in the evening.  It cost 1 dhm for me to get in ($.27) and the kids were free.  There were obviously no men around.  There were TONS of women and children running around.  Most of the kids were barefoot.  There were typical park things to climb on and lots of open space.  There were also amusement park rides (that I swear looked like they were going to break apart at any moment) but I somehow tossed caution to the wind and let my kids ride them.  They were only 3 dhs a piece to ride.  There were some places selling food and a few blankets out with women offering to do henna.

I now eat from street vendors so why not get a henna tattoo from a stranger offering to do it from a blanket in the park?

I asked the price and she quoted me 30 dhs. I figured – what the heck??  I told her that I didn’t want it down on my fingers and not too high on my arm, otherwise – I had no idea.  She said if she goes up higher it is 40 dhs and I said, fine.  She did the whole thing freehand.  It was amazing to watch.  She was very quick with her little flourishes and symmetrical with her petals on the flowers.  Such talent!  It looked like she was using icing bags and when it comes on it looks like frosting.  When she finished the first arm, she reached for my other one and I said no thanks.  I gotta start out small you know.  So the cost for the one arm was only 20 dhs!  That amounts to about $5.50.

I snapped a picture with my phone shortly after it was done:



Then I was told to wait an hour before washing it off.  So as I waited I started to feel it harden. Then, I started to get panicky, but did a great job of talking myself down in my head.  Seriously….this is how my internal conversation went: 

It feels itchy.

No it doesn’t

I think it might be getting red.

No, it’s not

I wonder if you can be allergic to Henna?  What’s the emergency number again?


What would I say if I had a reaction?

Wait, would I stop breathing?

No, no, no

My fingers feel numb, I wonder if I’m losing feeling because I’m having a reaction.

Um…it’s probably because you’re holding your hand down and not moving it.

You’re fine.  You’re fine.  You’re fine.

What if I get an infection?  What if it seeps into my bloodstream and it’s bad henna and something happens?

See – this is why you shouldn’t deal with unlicensed street vendors who don’t give you their name or a card to go back on.

Seriously….you’re fine…calm down….look around you at all the people with henna….it’s no big deal….breathe.


That is me talking myself down from a panic attack.  I was fine.  Really.  The kids had no idea about my internal struggle with crazytown for a few moments.

So….I got home and took a picture of the now dried henna:


Then, I washed it off and the pretty color faded:


Then, I rubbed olive oil on like she suggested.  It was that or baby oil which I didn’t have:


I guess I’ll see how it looks in the morning.  I wonder if it will get darker.  No redness or swelling though so that’s good Smile


Anonymous said...

Connie, it's beautiful! So proud of you for exploring your life there to the fullest.


Crystal in Lynden said...

I agree, great job trying so many new things and being so amazingly transparent so others can learn from you. Thank you.

Kavita Singh said...

LOL, this is a great blog! Next time you get henna (which is usually all herbal) keep it on as long as you can. The longer it stays on the darker the color will be. =)