Year of the Tiger Ink


So I realize this was ages ago, but I just realized I hadn’t posted about it.  Well, at least I think I haven’t posted about it.  If I did, then forgive me for doing it for a second time.

Anyway, I have always wanted a tattoo.  It is just something that I wanted since before I was 18.  However, I had no clue what I wanted to get, and therefore, I never got one.  And honestly, I was always wondering how painful it would be (as I was a bit afraid that I wouldn’t be able to endure it since I’m not the toughest lad in the bunch).  So, I wanted to make sure I got one that I liked…and didn’t regret immediately (i.e. the word groovy on my ass, or something..).

After much searching, I failed to find anything I liked.

Finally, one day I found a picture of a tiger that I thought was kind of cool.  Since I was born during the Year of the Tiger according to the Chinese calendar and my first full year in China was during the Year of the Tiger, I thought getting a tiger tattoo would be something that made at least a little sense.  Still, I did not immediately run to a tattoo parlor and get inked up.  For one, my mother had basically always said she would disown me if i got a tattoo because she hates them, but also, because I wasn’t sure if it was exactly what I wanted.

But then, over the summer, I discovered I was the only male in my family that had yet to get a tattoo (therefore, my mother couldn’t use the disowning as a threat anymore), and I realized that I still liked it.  A friend of mine once told me about someone else who waited a full year after deciding on a tattoo before finalizing it, just to make sure that they still liked it.  Well, this had been many months and I still liked it…soo, I decided I would get it once I returned to China (tattoos are cheaper in China and wouldn’t it make more sense to get my tattoo related to China, in China?)  Oh, and ALSO my mom actually didn’t hate it when I showed her it.

Still, I know it would take more action to actually get one.  This push came one night when my friend, Craig, called me.  He has many tattoos, but he wanted to get more.

“Hey man, what ya doin?” he asked when I picked up my phone.

“Nothin.  Just goin to get some food.”

“Hey, do you still wanna get a tattoo?” he said.

“Um.  Yeah.  Now?”

“Not now, but I am going to go tomorrow.”

So there we were.  “Tomorrow” we both went to a tattoo parlor he had found.  He got a crazy large tattoo on his crazy large back (not fat..he’s 6’9″).  And well, it was taking forever.  So I called this Chinese guy we knew and asked where he got his.  My friend, Michaela, accompanied me to go check it out.

craig getting stencilled up

craig in the massage chair clearly not made for 6'9" people

And so it begins!

After finally finding the place in some apartment building, we knocked on the doo

r.  It was what appeared to be a laundromat inside someone’s apartment.  But then we were led upstairs to the “tattoo parlor.”

I showed the guy what I wanted and said, “something like this.”  He told me that he would sketch a couple drawings similar to it with a Chinese twist, and that I could come back the next day to undergo the pain.  It would cost 500RMB (about 70 dollars).

The next day, I returned with Craig, Michaela, and 2 friends from Xiangtan.  The tattooist showed me two sketches he had made.  One looked like a dragon and the other looked like a lizard.  I had asked for a tiger.  Therefore, I just told him to go with the original.

So, here’s a series of pics from the surgery I underwent:

My skilled and fashionable tattoo artist

He must be showing me something on my back (there is another mirror behind me that you can't see)

Preparing for what I expected to be the most painful thing ever

And so it began...

Casually enduring the pain

Finished product...quit looking at my jacked back and notice my new tattoo

A closer shot of it

Happiest man alive...

my 2nd tattoo

So the last picture “my 2nd tattoo” is totally real.  Right?  Not one of those tattoos that you wet and stick on you.  But, I did wear it to the car game show we appeared on, and they made sure to point it out and ask about it.  I think they thought it was real, but they were probably just making fun of me.

Anyway, that’s about it.  The pain wasn’t nearly as bad as what I had expected, although I did get a bit lightheaded towards the end as it took 2 hours and 10 minutes.  I spoke like 5 words the whole time…I basically just sat there listening to my friends idly chat as I was afraid of moving and scarring myself with a horrible ink mistake.  I was pretty sure I would make him mess up as I was laughing hysterically at Nicole’s terrible story she made up as she perused through a tattoo book.

And well, the best thing about now is I have what Stenn likes to call the “tiger shirt.”  The tiger shirt likes to be put to use at the club in Cili.  And while wearing the tiger shirt, I can do anything.

So, for now, that’s it.  Peace.

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One thought on “Year of the Tiger Ink

  1. mother still HATES tatoos so PLEASE stop at one! i almost had a heart attack when i saw tatoo number 2 — (you did tell me about your little stunt on the game show but i forgot!) thank god! you do have an awsome back! ha ha love you mom

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