Do you guys remember seeing on the news last month about the fights in Bangkok? Yes, I am talking about the bloody brawls among students. The following day there were pictures in the newspaper of the students lying on the ground with no shirts on surrounded by policemen. You could see in some shots that a lot of them had tattoos all over their bodies. This brought back memories about my friends and myself in the past.
There was a period of time that I was thinking about having a tattoo. At that time, none of us had tattoos or were even thinking about it. I guess we were too busy with piercing our ears and going out with girls. I was the one who brought up the subject of tattooing to the group.
We already knew lots of girls who had their name or their boyfriend’s name etc. tattooed on their ankles, wrists, hands and some other places on their bodies, even their breasts! But that wasn’t the kind of tattoo we were talking about having. We wanted a good-looking picture such as a cross, skull, heart etc. For myself I wanted a big picture of a cross.
Back then, there was a movie that had just came out in Thailand called American History X. I had seen an advertising poster of a skinhead with a big Swastika tattoo on his chest. It looked really cool and I really liked it. I said to myself in my mind, “Wow, what a cool one. If I am going to have a tattoo, I am going to get one on my chest like that!” From that moment on, I kept dreaming about having a cross tattooed on my chest.
However, I was kind of worried about the consequences of it. I had heard that some companies wouldn’t give you a job if you had a tattoo. They believe that only criminals and gang members have tattoos. But it wasn’t always like that. My dad comes from a strict family and he has a small strange design on his lower back and even my grandfather has a small running tiger tattoo on his chest.
But these are different kinds of tattoos compared to the fashionable one I wanted. They believe that their tattoos have supernatural powers that give them extra strength. Most Thai men in the past would have tattoos like these as they had to fight in battles and needed protection.
I kept thinking about it over and over again for a month until I ended up talking to my dad about it. At first, I wished I hadn’t. “Go ahead, flush your future down the toilet,” he shouted at me. “I don’t care if you are going to do it. But do me a favour, OK? Tell me after you have it done so that I can beat the hell out of you.” That answered my question, very clearly!
So, it was the fear of my dad that stopped me from having a tattoo. Now after looking back, I am glad that I didn’t have the tattoo when I was younger. I now realise that it is not important at all to have a tattoo. In fact it’s a stupid thing that is going to stay with you forever. Some people might say; “It looks cool though”, I agree that it’s cool but for how long? A week? A month? Is it worth it? Your life is much longer than that.
Luckily I didn’t make that stupid mistake. Otherwise I might have become like some of my friends who have lots of tattoos. One of them has big tattoos on his back and thighs. Tell you the truth, he really looks like a gangster even though he isn’t a bad guy. All of those tattoos he has are to protect and give him supernatural powers when he is fighting. He is a technical college student who always gets into fights. Maybe I will tell you his story one day.