I arrived in Jakarta on 21 June 2011 and flew to Bali on the 27th.
On the first day of my arrival in Bali, my boyfriend and I went to La Ota for some porridge - that's how we always start my trip in Bali. Then we headed to Bali Ink to set up an appointment for my first (and most probably my last) tattoo. How do I know it's going to be my last? Well, when I was in San Francisco, suddenly Mom sent me an SMS message telling me that she had heard of my plan to get a tattoo. She pleaded (basically told me) to not get one. I replied to her that I'd discuss the plan when I got home.
On the eve of the flight to Bali as I was packing my suitcase, this conversation ensued.
"Mom, why can't I have a tattoo? Are you concerned about the cleanliness and hygiene of the place?"
"Yes, I'm worried about that," she said.
"But they have clean and new needles and stuff. They'll show you the new needles, just like they do at the facialist," I replied, referring to the dermatologist where we usually go to. Then I realized I had made a weak preposition, and so I added, "Or like the clinics and hospitals where they always have new needles and sterilized equipment."
I showed her the designs: the cats, the bell jar, the mandala, and finally the peacock feather at the back of the neck.
"That one is pretty," she said, pointing at the peacock feather.
"It is! And I want it."
"Why can't you have it for a temporary tattoo? And anyway, it will hurt, won't it?"
"Yes! But that's the essence of getting a tattoo: a painful commitment for a thing of beauty that will last forever!" actually as I was saying this, I was involuntarily reminded about the pain that I'd have to endure (around 90 minutes - the front-desk person at Bali Ink said). I think I flinched a bit.
"This one," I said, pointing at the bell jar design, "I made a promise to myself that if I were accepted at a school I wanted, I'd get it." The bell jar design was inspired by Sylvia Plath's one and only novel.
"Well, okay... but you have to choose. I want you to only get one tattoo. That's it!"
"One... full body?"
"No, just one tattoo. And I prefer you get the smallest," she sternly said.
"Gosh. How did you find out I was getting tattoos anyway?" I asked. I had remained silent about the whole thing. My plan was to silently get my tattoos done and then came home with them.
"I read about them," she replied with her usual poker face.
"The newspapers..." she replied. I almost giggled but also maintained a serious air - I was in the middle of a business proposal, not unlike when I asked for an Acer Ferrari laptop seven years ago.
"Oh, well. I'll get the peacock, then" I said decidedly.
And here I am, in Bali, anxiously waiting for two more days and reading about tattoo aftercare.