Tats Studio/The game!

Here’s an excerpt from my Hanoi post. I just thought that this story should stand alone as well since its pretty funny.

This is where Hanoi got funny and pushed our friendship to the real limits. We honestly almost stopped traveling together because of this studio (not their fault).

This was on our second time in Hanoi, maybe three or four weeks into traveling Vietnam.

We’d been talking about this game for a while and decided maybe drunkenly that we’d go through with it. The idea of the game is simple, we each get to choose each other a tattoo and the other isn’t aloud to see the tattoo until its done. The person getting tattooed is allowed to choose the location on the body and the general size. We were not allowed to choose anything offensive or that might affect our jobs. Simple.

The week building up to the big day, the various people we met and told about the game, most thought we were idiots, but some thought it was brilliant. Especially when I told people what I’d chosen for Alistair!

We’d had this studio recommended from a friend of a friend who owns Ngau coffee in Hanoi. We checked out the artists portfolio’s and decided to book in.

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The guy in the reception was really nice, I felt a little guilty/ridiculous coming to a good tattooist with such a stupid game but he saw the funny side, especially when I showed him Alistair’s tattoo. He did say the one Alistair chose for me was a little weird.

We booked in for the next day then went for a drink and emailed them with our ideas.

During the night we went out for some drinks. This was the time Alistair decided to tell me he hates portrait tattoo’s and would be pissed off if it was a tattoo of a face. This got me worried!

We go to the studio the next day to get our tattoo’s. Alistair is first up in the chair. They print out the design and we decide on the size. Its going on the outside of his calf. A pretty obvious position, especially when you’re wearing shorts all the time here.

He’s taken upstairs to start the tattoo not having a clue (maybe a slight idea) what he’s getting.

This is when I start shitting my pants and realising what I’ve just done to my best friend of 7 years. I wait a while and then I’m called to get my tattoo done downstairs, which doesn’t help the matter. I honestly thought he’d run down the stairs and punch me.

This might be the moment he realised what he was getting. Look at that face!

Alistair’s tattoo finished first but he wouldn’t look at it until mine was finished. By this point he pretty much knew what the tattoo was and had a face like thunder. Again the receptionist found this whole situation pretty funny.

He said he realised what it might be when the tattooist was lining his tattoo around the outside. I had no idea what mine was but could feel that whatever it was it included a lot of thin lines.

Once I’d finished we both went to the mirror. Had a brief worried pause and then revealed our new (forever) ink!

The first words from Alistairs mouth were “youuu bastard”. He’s pissed but said he wasn’t going to punch me in the studio because it was so nice.

We pay up, thank the guys then I sheepishly go first down the stairs to the bar below for a drink and a game of pool.

He’s really not happy. I genuinely thought I’d ruined our friendship! It took a long time for him to be OK again. I’m not talking hours, I’m talking maybe weeks.

I think he likes it now. But I’m not sure he’ll ever be fully OK with it.

SO THE TATTOO! what was it?

For Alistair I kindly chose him a drawing of my face. I know, dick move. He surely knew I’d do something like this though, we have been friends for 7 years so he knows what I’m like!

To be fair it’s not just a drawing of my face, two of my friends got this as a tattoo as a leaving present to me.

OK I know, dick move.

Here it is.

Screen Shot 2017-10-11 at 16.27.37
Shameless selfie I know.

For me? Alistair put a little more thought into my tattoo.

In the first week of traveling together I lost a lot of stuff. Day 2 I lost my camera, a Fuji X10, and then day 4 I lost my Go pro Hero 4 jumping off a boat into the sea in Hong Kong. From then I lost lots of other stuff. My favourite pineapple shirt, towel, sunglasses and the list now gets bigger.

So, to remember this and remember traveling, he asked the artist to design a lost and found bag with all these items inside. A nice sentiment right! Makes me feel a little more like a dick.

Here it is.

Lost and found.

Don’t worry, we’re contemplating going for round two at some point so Alistair can get his revenge. I’ve an idea what I’m going to do for him this time round and I’m gonna play fair and be nice this time. Hopefully he’ll really like it. OR I could just give him my face again.

I’ve a feeling it wont be the same for me though.

Location; 48 Hàng Buồm, Hà Nội, Vietnam

Find more pictures from my travels on instagram. I’m an idiot so have two pages.




All my pictures are my own.


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