Day 158, Monday June 23 2014

Today was tattoo day. A bunch of our laowei (foreigner) crew were getting tattoos together from a famous tattoo artist in Jinan. Amy wasn’t sure exactly where the place was, so we met at the school and cabbed it over together. The tattoo parlour was located in a small one room store with pictures all over the walls. There was a stack of tattoo books on the table with the artists design in them: mostly sleeves and full back pieces. Each piece had a little write up to go with it explaining the story behind the art, all depicting scenes from Chinese mythos and history. There were a number of scenes depicting se wu kong, the monkey king.

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There were eight of us total, plus a man consulting about a back piece he was getting done. We barely fit in the store! We hadn’t set up an appointment, so we weren’t sure if anyone would get their tattoos done today, but he ended up squeezing Sandy in. Everyone else had to make an appointment, and Nate’s will be on Friday.

It was Sandy’s first tattoo. She was laughing and joking around with everyone, but at the same time looked completely terrified. She turned red from one joke, then suddenly went white as she was about to sit in the chair. I thought she might pass out before they even started! Kaiya was sitting next to her for moral support. Sandy, who usually won’t shut up, was silent through the entire process. Poor Kaiya got a tatoo too! In the shape of Sandy’s finger nails on her inner thigh! Sandy was holding on a little too hard to deal with the pain. Kaya said she wasn’t sure who was going to tear up first…

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