Tattoos… not for some. Getting a tattoo is painful and nerve wracking… you had better hope you are in love with what you are getting as you will have it the rest of your life ! We have all heard that multiple times before.
I got my first tattoo at age 18 in Canada with a gun
I got a feather on my back for many reasons. Feathers are a symbol of travel because they easily just pick up and move with the wind; no matter how destroyed or muddy a feather becomes, it is still beautiful. I also got the feather because I love the movie Forrest Gump… and my dad looks exactly like him.
But this blog is about the time I got 2 bamboo tattoos
I had an idea for my second tattoo almost immediately after I got my first.. the addiction.I wanted to tattoo a map of the world on the bottom of my feet.
- Because I didn’t know anyone that had ever tattooed the bottom of their feet before
- I wanted to be “on top of the world”, or “have the world at my feet”. Whichever..
The only problem was that not a single place I called in Canada (and I called a ton) would do it. Some said that it would hurt too much and I would make them stop, leaving only half a tattoo. Others just plainly said they were not interested in doing it. And then some said no because they believed it would fade very quickly and look horrible.
SO I went to Thailand
I did not research bamboo tattoos at all before I went to be honest. A few days into our trip we were in Koh Phangan having some dinner and drinks. There were 5 of us girls on the trip and we all decided to get matching tattoos. We wanted to think of something small, but cute to get, so we decided to get the CHANG elephant (from the Chang beers we were drinking with dinner). We left dinner and went straight to the tattoo parlor down the street. We bartered to all get the tattoo at 30$ (CAD) each (which apparently was super expensive, but to me… cheap!). The tattoo artist refused to do the CHANG elephant as he said it was bad luck to have an elephant with his trunk down… so we changed the design to have his trunk up! We all got the tattoo somewhere on our foot and it turned out really nice.
The problem was that it hurt so bad to get done.
I assumed it was because he was tattooing our feet and that was why it hurt so much more than my back tattoo. It was only about 10 minutes a person, thank God! The great thing about bamboo tattoo is that you can still shower, go in the ocean, and do everything normally… you don’t even have to cover it up while in the sun! This is because the bamboo is being pushed into your skin with the ink one poke at a time, whereas the gun tattoos are being dragged and causing scars along your skin.
It wasn’t until about 2 weeks after my first tattoo that I decided to get what I really wanted
While in Koh Phi Phi we found this tattoo shop that had rave reviews. A ton of us that were traveling together wanted to get tattoos on the trip and we decided this was the place to get them! I talked to the Thai tattoo artist about what I wanted and he told me I was crazy.. coming from the guy that had bamboo tattooed on eye liner…. They had to google what the map of the world looked like since they did not know, or where Thailand even was on the map!
I had to walk back to my room to get my money… he wanted 100$ CAD to do the tattoo. While I was walking I had time to re think it over and make my final decision. Of course, while making any large decision in life, I stopped for a bucket (a sand pail filled with one mickey of alcohol, and only 1 can of pop). By the time I reached my room I was a little tipsy. I grabbed my money and wanted to double check that I could handle the pain… so I took out one of my earrings and started poking the bottom of the foot. Couldn’t feel it… so I was good to go.
We walked back down to the parlor and I layed on my stomach on one of the beds. I had 2 of my friends sitting on me, holding down my feet, one friend by my head holding my hand and also holding the new bucket, giving me the straw whenever I wanted a drink. The last girl was on Ipod duty… playing the tunes. They stenciled my feet, and my drunk self decided that it looks great.
The minute they started tattooing the bottom of my feet I realized that this was what pain felt like. It was horrible pain, so much that I had to squeeze my friends hand, while also chewing on my sweater to keep from screaming. They didn’t give me any breaks because I was scared that I wouldn’t want to keep going, so they tattooed for about 45 min to 1 hour straight. It was finally done.
This was a little over 5 years ago now and my tattoo is still strong! It has not faded and is still the same as the day I got it (I think what saved me was having such high arches in my feet). It has been a conversation starter for sure. I do not regret getting my tattoos at all, and the fact that they were bamboo and so easy to take care of made it that much better. I would suggest anyone to get a bamboo tattoo. I found them very sanitary, and most of the artists to be very creative.
The only thing is… they didn’t know what a map looked like, and I was too drunk to notice that they split Africa across my 2 feet, so it looks like Africa does not exist. A-Frick-Ah!