Tan or No Tan?


It may seem like an easy question to answer, but every year, before summer, I have to make up my mind. More than a question, opting for or against sunbathing is a dilemma for me.


My skin is white-white, like Andy’s, the only one in this particular group of divers with the same characteristic. It is kind of curious to observe how different can be the skin of people apparently with the same colour. Some are white-olive, some white-pink, some white-brownish, some white-reddish… I guess the same happens with people of all colors and origins.


Anyway, no matter how much tanned Andy and I are, we both end up with our original milk whiteness. Why bother then? That was what I had decided a while ago: avoiding sun exposure at all cost. Despite almost a decade in the shade, last year I had to deal with a very small skin cancer. Instead of being rewarded, somehow I felt it like an unfair punishment.


This year I rebelled against the rules. I decided to be pro. I do think that from time to time bodies need to be exfoliated by wind, sun, water and other elements a naked skin is usually exposed to. My decision for a tan was in part to speed up the healing process of my bruised knees after a bad fall and a desperate fight with a local pickpocket. In that matter I succeeded, as the bruises are now almost imperceptible. I had all the reasons in the world to feel particularly uncomfortable with bruises on my knees.


Now that I am all tanned, a truly African, and I still have left 2 or 3 months of sun, I am a bit curious of how long the tan is going to last. Maybe the day my glorious golden brown is completely gone, I’ll be asking myself the same question: “Tan or no tan?”