For those of you who don’t know – when I was 18, I worked as counter help for a known tattoo shop in Austin, Texas for 3 years. Having said that, I know what to look for when it comes to quality work and a safe, clean environment. I wasn’t about to compromise my health abroad when it came to getting a permanent reminder of our life changing experience.
Our time abroad was coming to a close and with that, we needed closure by feeding our addiction – tattoos.
It is already hard to play the “tattoos or travel” game so it is nice to treat ourselves every now and then. If we had the cash, both of us would have full sleeves by now.
The shop we picked turned out to be quite the gem – despite the name. Were we really about to walk into AMERICAN TATTOO at Bond Street while in Argentina? (Yes, I realize it means the “controversial” American, or rather, from the Americas.)
I kinda wanted to die of embarrassment.
But we went in and got placed with the coolest guys ever – Nacho (Ignacio) and Diego. Not only does the tattoo shop have sodas, snacks, and coffee to treat their customers, but it was so damn clean I could smell the green soap on everything. If it smells like a hospital, you have gone to the right place.
And OMG the decorations.
I probably got quite a few weird looks as I started clicking away at the wallpaper. Vintage to the tee! It was also adorned with signed guitars by various artists and an amazingly awesome contemporary chandelier that I wanted to take home with me.
These guys were classy. Seriously. It was one of the most amazing shops I had ever step foot in.
They started prepping us. Shaun got Nacho as he spoke English and I got chatty Diego. Poor guy had to deal with me asking him to repeat himself a few times but we were all in a GREAT mood.
This is where it gets a little messed up (in a good way). I’m officially a tattoo veteran.
My tattoo? The word “home” tattooed in cross stitch lettering (think “Home Sweet Home”) on my foot – also known as one of the most painful places on your body to get tattooed (the 4 big ones being sternum, ribs, foot, and the underarm). Just think of it as a reminder that home is where my feet are, not my possessions.
And what makes me a veteran? Not the fact I now have 3/4 of most painful under my belt but it was the fact that not only was I chatting up Diego, but I was giggling due to the tickling sensation of him wiping my foot and taking my own photos while being tattooed in one of the most painful spots. It was a little messed up. Even Diego was impressed.
Shaun? He decided to go the uber geek way.
His poison? The Zelda triforce, shield, and sword. What that has to do with our trip? I have no f*cking clue but that is what he wanted and I’m not going to be the one to knock it.
He was a little out of it while they were tattooing his calf. I’ll let that one slide though since he doesn’t have the hours of work that I do. Maybe one day he’ll have a higher pain tolerance that me – ALMIGHTY ERICA (*snicker*)! (This is also what happens when I write most of the posts, much to his dismay of me calling him a wuss.)
It was all said and done for the both of us in less than an hour. And price? Well, Buenos Aires ain’t cheap. Lets just say it was on par with getting tattooed in the States. Sure, we could have been lured in by the $30 tattoos on sale…
But really – did I want to start my story with a “So one time we got $30 tattoos in South America?”
No thank you.