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When I left you, I had just finished an amazing day with my second German girl of my trip. I slept like a baby, woke up early – as I had my entire trip – got ready for my day, and went up to the roof of the hostel. The sun was coming up, and there were a couple chairs up there, and it was pretty awesome to groggily wake up to a 360 degree view of Chiang Mai in the morning. I could see all the temples around me, along with part of the wall that surrounded the old city. It was quite relaxing.
I texted my German because she said that she’d love to get a coffee before we parted ways in the morning if I woke up early without an alarm. I woke up early without an alarm, so I reached out. She came up to the roof and hung out with me for a while, which was awesome, and then we got ready for our days. She was doing a different elephant sanctuary, and I was getting ready to head back to the US after a day-worth of sightseeing in Chiang Mai. It was a great morning.
After parting ways, I got all my stuff packed up into my backpack, and looked up a place I had researched before even getting to Thailand. It’s called Sak Yant Chiang Mai, and it’s a business that brings people about 40 minutes outside of the city to a small temple where a monk (coincidentally named “Beer”) will do a tattoo on you in the ancient way – with a bamboo stick and “tapping” it into your skin. I was in the mood, and I went to the place, and I ended up getting a perfectly-timed reservation and the person at the business was the one who could be my translator for the monk – who only spoke Thai – and so, we were off!
We drove the allotted 40-ish minutes outside of the city, stopping once at a market to get an offering, and when we arrived at the little temple, we were literally the only people there. It was awesome. It was me, my translator, the monk, and the monk’s apprentice.
Monk Beer was 38 years old, and he’d been doing it since he was 12. His apprentice was probably 15 or 16. When my translator and I got to the room, I didn’t know what tattoo I was going to get because you’re supposed to talk to the monk (via the translator) and say what you want out of life. The monk, then, recommends a tattoo for you.
I told him that I wanted to find and succeed at what I feel is “success”, I’d like to find a relationship I’m excited about, I’d like to be financially stable, and I’d like for myself, my friends, and family to be of good health. He suggested the “Gao Yord” or “9 peaks” which looks pretty badass on the little drawn out sheets of paper beside the chairs in the room. I was in! Sounds like a plan, let’s make it happen.
The monk went to town on my back with a long ass needle, as you can see. The traditional way involves ONLY bamboo, but for sterilization practices, they put a new steel tip on these days. The whole process felt like a bunch of bee stings, and I didn’t feel as much pain as I thought I would, which I was thankful for. Here’s the finished product:
It looks better now that it’s not red anymore. It’s also bigger than I thought it would be, but I think it’s pretty great and I’m excited about having a story aligned with my first tattoo.
After the tattoo, I was flying high. I wanted to do something REALLY crazy, so after being dropped off, I walked to a spa. I had never gotten a manicure or pedicure before, and I found a well-reviewed, beautiful looking place, and I made it happen. For an hour long manicure and an hour long pedicure, the total cost was like $35, and it was fantastic. My nails never looked better. I’d go into intimate details here, but…it’s pretty much what you know of a manicure and pedicure.
I continued walking and found my way to a coffee shop where I had a weird tea-type contraption, and wrote some postcards. I got on the internets, bought a flight back to Bangkok which left a tiny bit of time for me to get through security, and I went to dinner. This place touted rooftop views, but it wasn’t open, so I had a drink and some thai, and decided to make the last thing I did in Thailand be riding a Tuk-Tuk to the airport. It’s one of those little motorized 3-wheeled taxi-esq things, and I felt like a king being escorted away from this amazing country…here was my view:
Made it to Chiang Mai airport, got my phone charged up, flew to Bangkok’s main international airport, got through security after not having the right paperwork and having to wait in line until the very front of a 2-story long line, just to get the paperwork, fill it out, and ditch again…and then I got to the MAIN security line, and finally made it through with enough time to take a sink shower, grab a little food, and get on my flight back to the states.
Now that it’s been a month since I got back, I appreciate being back, but I appreciate being away even more. It’s been a very difficult time for me to be back in the working all the time mindset. I worked the first 12-days in a row after getting back. I know that people do that all the time, but the older I get, the more I realize that I might not be cut out for that kind of work. My bartending gig is fine for now, but I’m working on my own business that I’m starting to ramp up efforts on, so hopefully that’s a thing before too long. And I got new headshots and I’m working on a pilot script, so I have a teeny-tiny ball rolling in what I feel could be the right direction. I’m also deciding to make updates to this blog now and then with some insights I’ve discovered about my journey and myself, so check back every now and then and I hope to have something worth reading for you.
Thanks for checking this out. More soon.