Lisbon, Ink.


My first outing in the new town? Visiting a tattoo festival in Lisbon. As one does.

The 6th annual Lisbon Tattoo & Rock Festival wasn't in some gritty, urban enclave however. It was in a carpeted, sterile conference center, with renowned international and local tattoo artists each in their respective booths. Next week, the exact same setting could see a dental trade show or a book fair.

My inner tattoo yearnings, thus far unrealized, were itching though. These guys (and girls) were pros. Not one of the people getting inked were grimacing at all, despite some pretty sensitive areas getting the needle. I was tempted to go full sleeve, or maybe with a giant back tattoo.

But what to get? What symbols would resonate, as adequate lifelong representations of my life? A football, perhaps. A pen, a beach, an overly sensitive stomach, or maybe a giant head portrait of Oprah Winfrey? It was all too much to contemplate, so I passed.

A beer for 1.50Eur and a slow photo-taking stroll around the area seemed to suffice for now...

Amid skulls, skin, and serpents, a somewhat incongruous kid's area