Readers' Submissions

Pattaya Life Lesson 234

  • Written by Anonymous
  • December 30th, 2008
  • 5 min read


I am not even going to reveal my identity to Stickman because this is so embarrassing to me. It may seem like a small thing, but in hindsight the more I think about it, the more I am totally upset about the situation, to the point of having pleasant fantasies of paying someone 500 baht to punch a few folks in the face.

On one level, it may seem somewhat innocuous, but on another level it was a serious violation of somebody's personal space and actual person.

I was on the beach in Jomtien hanging out, chilling, leaning against a tree watching the sun set and having nothing but peaceful thoughts. No need to be rude to the vendors as they are just making a living.

So I am here having completely peaceful thoughts when a tattoo vendor comes by. I am not interested in a tattoo. But I start thinking about my crazy friend who had the name of God written in Hebrew letters on his shoulder — in a way of defiance against being raised in a certain religious cult. But that's another story. I always had a random thought of maybe having a temporary tattoo and taking a pic of it to show a bit of support and solidarity for my bit radical friend.

So since I am in such a mellow mood, I just say to the vendor "Tal rai"? How much? Very calmly he comes over and rolls up my sleeve a bit, and I think maybe he is going to illustrate the location or size or whatever or do a chalk outline or whatever and he puts a small black mark on my shoulder.

I was a bit thrown off by this. I didn't scream or jump away or yell. I wasn't in that mind set.

I thought he was going to illustrate the technique with just a dot of ink or something.

I was just caught unawares.

The next thing I know — the dot is already on my arm, he makes a very, very small design, like a centimeter big. "Good luck for New Year."

Well, I am thinking, okay, well, this is dumb, now he is making a small design on my arm.

"How much?" I ask. He doesn't answer. "No worry. Good luck for New Year."

So I am thinking, okay, this is stupid, but he is going to make a small, insignificant "good luck" mark on my arm. Nothing too idiotic. Whatever. I am the one who let him put that first little mark on there.

And the design got bigger. I got, hey, I don't want. I don't want nothing big.

And this little beginning design started forming into a scorpion, with the initial designs being the body of the scorpion.

It's like, what the f—, okay, I am going to have a scorpion on my arm. I am a dumbass for getting this started. Never asked for a f—ing scorpion. F—.

So let's get it over with. I don't even realize it, but his friend comes up from the side and starts drawing. I thought he was finishing the scorpion, but it doesn't seem to fit the design.

"Hey, stop. That's enough. Stop. Don't want."

No…good. Already started.

Double f—.

So without even knowing it, this second f—er has started something else. I thought it was going to be a tiny bit of script to go with the scorpion. I am hoping it's not too extensive. I told him to f—ing stop but he already started it, and is it more stupid to have half a design or a full one?

It gets worse. It was the beginning of the design of a giant f—ing dragon, twice as big and surrounding the scorpion.

Now I feel like a total dumbshit. I know who I am and who I am not. I am not the kind of guy to have a freaking giant scorpion/dragon tattoo on my arm.

I was f—ed. I was now pissed.

A third tattoo artists gets on the other side. It made me now feel surrounded, trapped and pissed.

How much?

300 baht.

No. I will give 200 baht. You want more, you can just beat me up. They could tell I wasn't budging. I was paying 200 baht for a piece of shit I had on my arm. If I really wanted a confrontation with three Thai guys surrounding me, I could have given them nothing. In hindsight, that is what I would have done. I like to think that is what I would have done. And if I got my ass kicked so be it. And if by chance I kicked their butt, so be it.

Now I was feeling exploited and made the fool. I could imagine them laughing at the dumbshit farang who got two tattoos he didn't even want.

I was enraged.

New decision…is it more stupid to have a smeared up tattoo or a tattoo that is not smeared up.

I walk down the beach for two hours in the dark waiting for the son of a bitch thing to dry off, staying on the beach making sure no one I knew would see me. I was totally embarrassed.

One thing I must live with is I am somewhat self-aware. When I am being an idiot or I do something idiotic, I am aware of it. It's a gift and a curse.

I get back to the room and analyze it. Yes, this wasn't me. I looked like a dumbshit. None of my friends would ever know about this.

I started scrubbing and scrubbing and scrubbing. I scrubbed until it hurt to touch my arm. It got to the point to put soap in the area hurt and stung.

When I was through, it was much more faded, but still there. Now it was just "talking" instead of "screaming."

I almost cancelled my date with my "GFE" girlfriend I was so embarrassed.

She finally came over and gave me a nice massage in half-lit room. She didn't notice it. Later in the shower she washed the area of my arm and it stung like hell. She finally noticed the faded tattoo and pointed it out.

I told her calmly, "Oh, it's been there all along." She nodded and didn't give it another thought.

In hindsight I don't know how much to blame myself for being a dumbass and how much to be outraged for these tattoo touts being way overly aggressive.

Stickman's thoughts:

Blame yourself. 100%!