It was the mid-2000s and after being inspired by the Leonardo DiCaprio film classic The Beach, I decided to travel far away to a remote location and get an authentic, traditional tattoo. Originally being from Hull, I had to work out how I would travel to a mystical island, ensuring I got the full experience, which I could then brag about on BBM (Blackberry Messenger). Of course, working out my route was difficult but I learned a lot from the challenge and grew as a person.
I connected to the internet and searched ‘tribal tattoos’. Lots of stories came up about cultural bastardisation but I don’t believe any of that propaganda shit. Finally, I decided upon venturing out of my middle-class home town to the small Island of Samoa. I had seen pictures of Samoan people covered in tattoos and wanted to look the same way regardless of my complete incognisant mindset concerning the cultural history of these tattoos.
After posting about my to-be worldy travels on MySpace, I booked an EasyJet flight from Heathrow for the low-cost price of £50, which included 7 different airport changes, including one at Gatwick airport, taking the grand total of 4 days to complete. Naturally, the cost didn’t bother me because I’m not attached to material things such as money. And the look of this tattoo would boost my luck with the local girls back home so it would be worth the wait.
Finally, the day arrived and as I walked through security at Heathrow airport I wondered if we could all just get along instead of hurting each other, then we wouldn’t need airport security. This might be a hard concept for you to understand as you don’t have the authentic, travelling perspective I have.
Anyways once I arrived in Samoa, I was shocked at how much it rained. I expected white sandy beaches with slim women running around in slow-motion as they played in the sea. But instead, it thundered day and night. Apparently, there’s a cyclone season in Samoa which happens every year during the winter months. You might not have known that but I do because I have travelled. At my overly-expensive hotel, I got dressed in my white wife beater, cargo shorts and flip-flops then headed out to meet the locals. In the nearby village, I picked out and forced my presence on some local shop keepers who looked rural enough to fulfil my prejudice predictions about what Samoan people look like, and began talking slowly but loudly in English so that they understood me, even though English isn’t their native language.
It was so enlightening talking to these people. I couldn’t understand a lot but we bonded and I became a more wholesome person just by being in their presence. After showing them some pictures of tattoos on my Blackberry they took me to an old, wrinkled lady who had facial tattoos. Originally they wanted me to walk 10 miles to find this woman and mentioned something about a journey but I just hitched a ride on a local bus with all the native people. It was awe-inspiring listening to them talk in their foreign accents, I finally understood what it was like to be a minority. When I eventually arrived at the woman’s hut and showed her the pictures I had collected from AskJeeves I pointed to my shoulder mimicking the sound of a tattoo gun.
Initially, she said something about it being wrong and kept shaking her head but I reassured her that I was right. After all, I read the entire wiki page about traditional tattoos before I met her. She probably didn’t expect me to know more than her, even though she was a traditional, respected artist.
We came to the agreement that she would do the tattoo if I paid her 1,645.93 Samoan Tala, which I think is like 50 quid. Then she took out a stick with a needle on it and placed some ink next to me. I gave her the pictures of some black swirled traditional tattoos I had collected and she got to work.
It wasn’t painful at all and anyone who says tattoos are painful is a pussy. Instead, it was enlightening and as I sat there for 4 hours I had multiple revelations. I spent the rest of my trip in my hotel talking to other English speaking people, complaining about the weather and bragging about my new tattoo, while feeling up unsuspecting women.
That was over 10 years ago now and I still live by the teachings and revelations I encountered that day, as I drive around in my Mercedes blaring obnoxious music, and cat-calling women I find bangable.
Of course, all the girls were interested in my tattoo as soon as I came home and they listened to my bullshit about my spiritual adventure. But I think the woman didn’t tattoo me properly because it started to get dry and flaky as soon as I got home, and some of it flaked off. But even with the 40 sunburns its had to endure and patches of skin that I scrubbed away when it began to flake, my tattoo still gets the ladies’ attention so it was totally worth it.