My school, the BWV in Ahaus Germany, gave me the chance to do an internship abroad in any country of the E.U. I asked if I could do it in my uncle’s Tattoo Studio in Athens and they said yes! But before I went, I had to prepare accordingly.
Mr. Tinnemeyer, who’s responsible for students doing internships abroad in my school, helped me ensure that things would go smoothly. He explained to me all the rules and gave me some paperwork that my uncle had to sign once I arrived in Greece. With his help, all the technical stuff was out of the way, and I could start my internship without any worries. The day of my flight came, and I went to Dusseldorf airport. I boarded my plane with no problems and had a relaxing three-hour flight with Aegean Airlines. They served us all some snacks and the rest of the flight I spent trying to sleep. I didn’t end up sleeping much, because I was too excited. I landed at Athens International Airport and the first thing I noticed was the temperature, although still warmer than back in Germany it was still colder than I expected, it seems that three days prior it had snowed a bunch in Athens. Keep in mind that it does snow sometimes in Athens but not that much that it would stay for a couple of days. Normally snow barely lasts an hour or two. Anyways I land in Athens meet up with my uncle and cousin waiting for me and went to my grandparents' house where I would say hi to them. My family was really happy to see me, and I was too. The rest of that day I organized to meet up with a couple of my friends I had in Athens and in the afternoon we met up and took the bus to a local McDonalds and ate. I couldn’t stay till too late because the next day my internship would start and I wanted to be refreshed with sleep.
My first week
I woke up at 9:30 and got ready to leave at 10:30. Since I stayed at my uncle’s house we would leave together in the mornings and arrive home at 19:30. The tattoo studio is not far only a 30-minute drive, close to the city’s center I admit that the first week and especially the first day was a bit boring, as I mentioned above it had snowed 3 days ago and my uncle had to close his studio for a couple of days. Due to that, we didn’t have much to do as there weren’t any appointments made due to the bad weather the days prior. I would start the day at my internship with opening the studio, we had to sweep and mop the floors, we had to put some chairs outside, and hang a sign that lit up and said “Open”. I met up with the other two workers there. One was still learning so he would do small tattoos while my uncle did the harder ones, the other did piercings of many kinds. They were very friendly, and we would spend the day talking to each other, although I don’t know their ages, they weren’t that much older than me, so we had a lot of hobbies in common. My job was at the front desk. I would pick up phone calls, talk to customers, arrange appointments either by phone or DMs on Instagram, handle the payments and the receipts and put some music on for the shop. Winter months are usually slower than spring or summer months and because of the snow, it was even slower than normal. The first week was good but not that much to do. After work, I would spend my day with my two cousins and my aunt who lived with my grandparents. We didn’t hang out outside during the weekdays because my friends and cousins had to go to school but on the weekend we went to the center of Marousi. Marousi is a suburb in the northern part of Athens. My family lives in Marousi and that’s where I used to live when I was still in Greece. We went and sat in a bar and ate. After we ate, we started going to a local billiard bar and played some. We were five people in total, but we played 2vs2, one of us sat out. My team ended up losing but we still had lots of fun. After the game, we all went home.
My second week
The second week started faster than I expected, turns out a few customers messaged my uncle through Instagram and a bunch of customers came in. Not everyone came in for a tattoo though. We had a sale for all basic piercings so most of them did piercings. My uncle did tattoo some people as well and I would handle the payments. My uncle would tell me in advance how much the tattoo cost since I hadn’t learned the prices yet, but the piercing sale was easy to remember so I didn’t need help ringing that up. We had two customers that came in for piercings, that weren’t Greek so we had to talk to them in English. I had no problem communicating and they ended up getting their ears and nose pierced. Although I knew that sometimes tourists visit the shop, I wasn’t expecting to see any this time of the year. The second week went by pretty smoothly and faster than I expected. Weekend comes by and me and my cousin went to the biggest mall in Athens, simply called “The Mall Athens”.
To reach the mall we either take the train from Marousi to Neratziotissa station (the region the mall is located) or we simply walk there.
The mall has different shops and activities to do there. There’s a cinema, a bowling alley and an arcade, as well as a lot of shops where you can find things such as shoes, shirts, jeans, sport stuff, different types of electronic devices, a bookstore and some small places to grab something to eat. We went, and looked at some shoes my cousin wanted to buy and then we grabbed some burgers and fries to eat. After we ate we went back to my grandma’s house and we played on his PC. At night, me and my cousin watched a movie and ordered something to eat. Next day we would hang out with all my friends again.
My third week
The third week also went by fast which saddened me because my internship was ending. In the work place everything went the same as the second week, only I had more to do. More appointments, more answering customers questions etc. Thursday and Friday I had to stay a bit longer (Till 22:00), because my uncle was doing a sleeve tattoo, and he needed to stay longer so I waited for us to go home together. On Tuesday a German man came into the shop and he didn’t speak Greek nor English that well so my German knowledge came in handy there. I had to translate what he was saying to my uncle and what my uncle was saying to him. Once again, communication was no problem for me. Friday night I went out one last time with my friends we got some food and went to a park close by. We hanged out and had lots of fun what sadly it was time for me to go home and get ready for my flight tomorrow. Saturday came and I went to the airport and flew back to Germany. Overall I had lots of fun in my internship both at the job and at my free time.
by Oresti (BFS1)