Tap. Tap. Tap.

I was lying flat on my back, watching two hungry geckos devour bug after bug on the thatched ceiling. Meanwhile, a man was driving a sharpened bamboo stick with a nail into the sensitive part of my inner arm.

Bucket list goal of “Get a Traditional Bamboo Tattoo in Thailand” = done.

Although the method is a little medieval, this one hurt far less than a regular tattoo. Having a Thai guy come at me with a long, pointy object was a little nerve wracking, however, at least he was smiling. Maybe because I paid him $50.

Tap. Tap. Tap.

Occasionally, the cluster of needles would plunge a little deeper than before and I would wince, but I had an audience of curious passersby from the street watching, so I tried not to flinch.

Besides, when you find yourself in these positions you should ask: WWJWD?  What would John Wayne do? Probably not get a bamboo tattoo in Thailand. But if he did, he wouldn’t flinch, I know that.

Earlier, I was eating on the ground in a restaurant with a friend, when a cat jumped onto the floor nearby and a flurry of commotion ensued: he had dragged a snake into the place! The snake was relatively small (by Southeast Asian standards, anyway) but I jumped up and did my best to separate the two as the snake struck at me and the cat.

Who knows how many times the cat was bitten during the epic battle. I saw the cat lounging around with a full stomach the next morning, so I guess the snake wasn’t poisonous.

Don’t ask me why, but at that moment, I decided to get a tattoo here. Maybe one random event deserves another.

The Thai word I had etched onto my skin forever?

Vagabond (or traveler/tourist in Thai) — of course. 🙂

Here’s a video!