She's Getting Ink Done

Well... I'm knocking down my goals here left and right as I head into my 7th month in this country. I finally did one of the things I wanted to do while I was here - get a Tattoo. My grandfather got some when he was here during the Korean Conflict, and I've already got two, and figured, why not get one more to commemorate my time here?

We attempted to go on Wednesday, but being Lunar New Year, everything was closed. We went back on Saturday to a place called 2nd Childhood in Itaewon that a half Korean friend of ours knew about. It is off the beaten path, and down a very crooked old alleyway:

There are only a few places to actually get this done in Korea, as the laws are somewhat fuzzy. Going in, we expected our tattoos to be upwards of $150-$200 because it's a somewhat unpracticed custom and that was what we were told to expect. However, when we got to the tattoo parlor we learned that it is actually OK to tat up foreigners but there could be massive fees involved if the guy was found to be tattooing Koreans. It isn't entirely against the law, but it is frowned upon for the locals.

I went first as there were three of us and the guy was as professional as the artists back home - used brand new needles, had an autoclave, showed us his portfolio when I asked to see his previous work, wrapped everything in plastic that he was using, etc. It took about an hour and twenty for mine, and wound up costing only 60,000 won - which was incredible to hear. My friend went next and his was about 2 hours and was just about as cheap. Our third friend unfortunately couldn't get his as it needed a bit more preparation so he'll go back. Overall it was a pretty fun day - my friends hung out and played Go.Stop. (Korean Card Game that we've picked up) and we listened to music - can't really complain. It was an experience to say the least.

(it didn't really hurt)

Oh, and what did I get? Well in keeping with my tradition it's something small and colorful, and of course tasteful and meaningful. The only difference is this time its a bit more prominently placed. The first one I have represents a childhood love, the second one I have represents a constant love for the ocean and music, and now this one adds to my collection and represents my overall desire for balance in life and my time in Korea:

I have contact information if anyone is in this country now and is looking to do the same... I recommend it ;)