The Monkey King and I were not meant to be… ~ A Walk in Ubud

Lionk the Tattoo Master: Vicky Burki also has an appointment with me.
Three Dumb Girls (Us): Hehehe… (and who’s Vicky Burki, again?)

Sunday. Five business cards in hand today mean five new contacts. More or less. My neighbor Sherly introduced me to her new colleague, Dwi – a hip and pretty girl, a manager in a five star resort in Ungasan Bali.We exchanged business cards in a business-like manner. But after five seconds, we threw that attitude out of the window. Three of us headed to Ubud. Dwi drove. Sherly navigated. I trusted my life in them.

The second business card was from Lada Warung on Jalan Hanoman. Sherly and I had a brunch in the small restaurant with the tagline “Indonesian Home Cooking.” A pretty cool place with a couple of wall ornaments you can use as picture backgrounds. Dwi was fasting, so she took a walk along the strip of small shops nearby. But before that, we asked the waiter to take pictures of us. Typical.

The third, fourth, and fifth business cards came from three different tattoo artists. Sherly and I were determined to make our first tats. So, before we came to Ubud we browsed on the Internet with keywords ‘ubud tattoo’ or ‘tattoo in ubud’. First, why Ubud? Why not Kuta? Because Ubud is ‘Apple’ and Kuta is ‘Microsoft’, in taste and ambiance. Only that making tattoo in Ubud is generally less expensive than in the highly commercial Kuta. Second, continuing the google search, when you enter the keywords, you will find out that this guy named Lionk (originally I Putu Nuarsa) ranked top of the search engine. Some blogs from some happy costumers even backlink his website.

We met the dark-skinned tattoo master (a useless description indeed, because ALL Indonesian tattoo artists are dark skinned. Somewhat sulky. Heavy smokers), but we didn’t manage to win his time. When we got there Lionk was only minutes from finishing his artwork on the arm of an American girl. We saw how refined his work was. His sophisticated design was patched on the happy costumer’s skin beautifully. I realized instantly that my simplistic taoist design looked amateurish and a master like him should have no business with it. I saved my pride with the fact that Lionk’s schedule was tight that day. At least that was what he said. Maybe he was just reluctant. Ok, Lionk, I promise I will come back to you with an ultra sophisticated design that is worth your mastery and mood!

Because one door was closed today, we went to other doors. On Jalan Monkey Forest, turning left from Jalan Hanoman, we and the thing we wanted finally matched. Not quite ‘The Monkey King’, but still ‘monkeys with experience’. There’s time and place for every thing. And Japanese kanji that says ‘creativity’ now lies on the side of my left lower arm.


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