It is a common Chinese proverb, the rough translation being, “Beautiful flowers don’t bloom often.” Its meaning is fairly simple to grasp, which is that good things in life are rare and that it is important to cherish them.
When we ask Mr. Lion about it, he replies, “Well, I gave this tattoo to myself when I was a teenager,” He shrugs, “We learned about this saying in school, and I really liked it, so.”
“You did it yourself?” We clarify.
“Of course,” He says, blase, “It’s really simple. We used to just prick our skin with the tips of our ballpoint pens. If you press hard enough, it’s basically like a needle. Everybody did it.”
“Yeah,” a landlord walking with us adds, “I gave myself a bunch of them when I was bored during class.”
“I know,” Mr. Lion replies jovially. “You weren’t exactly subtle, everybody could see you doing it!”
They burst into laughter, and we can’t help but smile as well.
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