The ‘body art’ I had done is big, it’s on my back, and it’s of a giant pissed of snake. I didn’t go to Thailand thinking I wanted a snake on my back, I went knowing only that I wanted something. Preferably something that was awesome.
I was staying in the Khao Sok National Park enjoying jungle life. However, Thai parks differ from North American parks in a few ways. They have elephants, tigers and bars made of bamboo. The bar was probably the biggest threat to my health.
It was unlikely that I would see an elephant or tiger, so I went to the bar, the ‘Funky Monkey Bamboo Bar. If you guessed that the bar was made entirely out of bamboo, then you’d be right. It just so happened that in addition to having hundreds of pillows and a hammock this bar also had a tattoo artist living on the second level of this bamboo palace. I asked him what he thought he could tattoo awesome that day. He said a water snake. I got a water snake.
It took eight hours of me sitting on the floor. Eight hours of tapping a bamboo stick into my back, because he didn’t use a gun. At the time though, I had just gone through bum surgery in South Korea, so sitting on the fresh butt wound was much more painful than the tattoo itself.
People ask me what my tattoo means, but truthfully, it doesn’t represent anything. It just looks pretty bad ass, or so I’m told. With it being on my back, I rarely see it. Three years after having it done, if I happen to catch a glimpse of it, I’m still caught off guard.
Just in case you’re thinking, ‘Hey, I think that I want to get an impulsive tattoo in a developing country!’ here are some helpful tips.
Rules for getting an impulsive tattoo:
Don’t worry about the size, just make sure it’s somewhere that you’ll never have to see it. If it’s great, then great, if it’s terrible then at least you’ll never have to look at it.
2. The Story
Make sure there is a good story behind it. No one wants to hear that you got drunk in your parents basement and made an extra stop on the way to blockbuster.
3. The ‘Meaning’
Don’t get a tattoo that has more layers of meaning than an onion. When you explain that your dolphin tramp stamp represents how you dove into life’s challenges, people will groan.
4. (for the gentlemen) Make it TOUGH
People won’t question a tattoo that makes you look like you just got out of prison. Men who aren’t tough as nails get traded like currency in prison. You know what tough guys have in the big house? You guessed it, tattoos. Big ones too.
5. You get what you pay for
The saying, ‘if it’s too good to be true, than it probably is’ could not be more true than for tattoos. Like everything in life, you get what you pay for. If you’re paying less for your tattoo than you do for a carton of cigarettes, well, think twice.
The only thing less cool than getting a bad tattoo is getting Hepatitis. Sure you can join the same Facebook group as Pamela Anderson, but when you go to share needles with your friends make sure that you give them a quick heads up. Better yet just get every vaccine under the sun before you go under the needle.