|Some aubergines, earlier today|
This blog is so devoted to the cause of dissecting suburban life that it now takes its holidays in suburbia too. We're presently in an outpost of Dresden in eastern Germany, and there are some interesting contrasts with its typical equivalent in the US. For example, here there are shops, bars, and public transport in all directions – that kind of thing. And there's an unusual breed of hair dye too.
You won't find it stated anywhere in this particular suburb's tourist literature, but this area boasts some of the world's least attractive women. It's not because they are born ugly due to something alien in the local water. No, they actively take anti-beautification measures in order deliberately to deflect any desires harboured by the opposite sex. They do this by dying their hair the colour of aubergines (for the benefit of my two US readers, that's eggplant).
It seems odd that, of all the colours available, this underwhelming hue of a blob-shaped garden vegetable would enjoy such widespread popularity. It's certainly unique, at least until you've passed your fortieth purple-headed monster of the morning. By that time, the idea of sexual arousal has become so abstract that it seems nothing more than a theory somebody might once have had about animal reproduction. Around here, babies are surely delivered by stork only.
At four o'clock in the afternoon, meanwhile, you can see teenage youths hanging around outside the shopping centre openly drinking bottles of beer and smoking cigarettes. Alienation, leisure and courtship are all combined into a single package, but judging by the age of the area's pram-pushers, it's nothing but a brief stage on the path to developing your aubergenes. Then it's time to settle down to a life of ignoring friendly overtures of greeting from outsiders (though staring at them is allowed), learning how to cook six dozen bratwurst on an open-air grill in time for the next family wedding, and refusing to accede to so-called fashionable influences from the world beyond. Magentally ill, and we're not going to change a shade.