Germans love their sunshine. You can see it as they turn their faces to the sky and grin while attempting to absorb as much vitamin-D as they can. I saw it on Norderney while everyone was on vacation, and I see it now in Berlin every day the sun shows its face.
A few months back, when everyone was working on their pre-vacation tans, I saw a great advertisement all over the city about turning brown. It was a very white sausage on a white background with plain letters that said, “Nur Gebraunt ist Besser!” (English translation: Only browned is better!)
As I have become all too aware of in the past few years, the sun is not always so kind. No, I’m not even going to talk about the New Jersey tanning mom that I read about in the news (so sad that I missed that phenomenon), rather these horrific seemingly off-handed by-the-way phone calls I’ve received from my father who sounds like he’s shrugging his shoulders as he says, “So I had a little bit of cancer removed.” Yeah, he’s not the smoothest at delivering news.
I recently took my first trip to the dermatologist to get a suspicious something on my skin checked out. I really loved the sign in the waiting room that told me that “the sun has its dark sides too.” This did not at all compare to the awesome sign that was in the room where I got checked out at the follow-up appointment:
Translation: Long Grilling Makes for Sick Skin.
4 Things I learned at this appointment:
-Doctors’ visits don’t always have to take hours. As a new patient, I was in and out of that office, including a non-scheduled procedure, in less than an hour.
-Not all laser eye surgeries are equal. I got a wart removed from my lower eyelid with a laser, which was totally NOT the laser eye surgery I had envisioned for my future.
-In Germany, you are supposed to sign an informed consent form 24 hours before having a medical procedure. I don’t know if that is only for elective procedures, but I do know that the doctor wrote an exception clause at the bottom of the form and made me sign it to say that I understood that I was waving this 24 hour waiting period.
-Germans don’t know what guns really sound like, at least my dermatologist doesn’t. Before doing the surgery, the doctor warned me that the laser was going to sound like a gun. It didn’t sound ANYTHING like a gun. It made a small popping noise, quieter than shooting a BB gun. I tried not to laugh.