YIKES! (うっわ!オエーっ!)ってかんじる? アメリカのタトゥー事情ナウ。

僕が7歳とか、8歳くらいのとき、僕は母さんに連れられて(昔住んでた)ミシガンの町の床屋に通 ってた。ある日、その床屋に「今年の夏は家族でフロリダ州に行くんだ」と話したら、彼はシャツをまくり、おもむろにちっちゃいけどグリーン色の「Florida」タトゥーがはいった腕を見せてくれたんだ。母さんは、「大人が子供にそんなもの見せるなんてありえない」と教えてくれてたし、当時はタトゥーって隠すもの(特に仕事場では)だったようだけど。

あれから25年、いまでは僕の髪を切ってくれた床屋の右腕には無数のタトゥーが、しかも床屋のハサミやら炎のデザインまでギラギラと。挙句彼の左腕は「Oakland」や「California」なんて町まででかでか彫られちゃってる。。。

僕の住むサンフランシスコでは、ひとは全くタトゥーやボディーピアスを隠したりしない。むしろ彼らのプライドの象徴みたいなかんじ、アメリカでは、そういう空気を受け入れられてきてるかんじだ。実際、ビジネスマン、教育、テクノロジーなんかの専門分野に従事するひとたちさえ“受け入れられない”なんて、20年も前の感覚だ。

サンフランシスコはアメリカの「新しいこと、ヘンテコなこと」全部ひっくるめて、ずっとど真ん中の都市。僕がここに引っ越した時はいろいろなことにそりゃ驚いた。たしかにYIKES! (うっわ!オエー っ!)(これはネイティブがいうちょっとあり得ないっ!驚きを表すときなんだけど)サンフランシスコに住む最高のこと、もしかしたら、こういう感覚に自由でいられるところなのかも!?

When I was about seven or eight, my mom took me for a haircut at the local barber shop in our town in Michigan. I told the barber that our family was going on vacation to Florida soon. He pulled up the sleeve of his shirt and showed me the small, green tattoo of Florida that he had on his arm. My mom thought it was rude that an adult would show a child a tattoo. In those days, people usually kept their tattoos hidden, especially when they were at work.

Twenty-five years later, the guy who now cuts my hair wears a sleeveless shirt and on his right arm, visible at all times, is an enormous tattoo in bright colors of barber’s scissors surrounded by fire. On his other arm is another large tattoo of the city of Oakland, California. In San Francisco, people never hide their tattoos or take out their ear or nose piercings. Body art is a source of pride for many people, and many other cities in America are becoming more and more tattoo/piercing-friendly. In fact, many young professional people (in business, in education, in technology, and other fields) now have tattoos and body piercings that would have been considered unacceptable two decades ago.

San Francisco is the capital city of America for all things new and weird. When I first moved to San Francisco, many things took me by surprise. Sometimes, you might see things that make you think “Yikes!” This is what some English-speakers say when they see something that makes them uncomfortable. However, the best part of living in San Francisco is the chance to live where people feel free to be themselves, however weird they may be.


今回の使える英フレーズ

1. in those days:あの頃は/当時は 
In those days, people usually kept their tattoos hidden, especially when they were at work. (当時はタトゥーって隠すもの、(特に仕事場では)だったようだけど。) 

2. a source of pride:誇りの源 
Body art is a source of pride for many people, and many other cities in America are becoming more and more tattoo/piercing-friendly. (彼らの誇りの源みたいなかんじ、アメリカでは、タトゥーもボディーピアスも受け入れられてきてるかんじだ。)

3. took me by surprise:びっくりする、驚いた 
When I first moved to San Francisco, many things took me by surprise. (僕がサンフランシスコに引っ越した時はいろいろなことに驚いた。)

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