As I turned away from scanning the ocean for a yacht, my eyes caught on a sign outside one of the beach side stores. It read “Tyas Tattoo”. I felt an uncontrollable pull to go to that store, once inside, there was no turning back…
I had been toying with the idea of getting a tattoo for years, and seeing this Tattoo sign,I thought, there was no harm in looking. As I approached, there was a guy standing out front, leaning against the doorway of the store. He was dressed in a bright pink Hawaiian style shirt, with blue jeans. His hair was long and curly, tied back in a ponytail. He had the widest, brightest smile I had ever seen.
“Want a Tattoo?” he called
“I’ll have a look” I replied, rather coyly
He led me through the small cafe, to the back, where his studio was located. It was actually his private living quarters, that he had divided in two. One half was his bedroom, and the other half his studio. He had brightly colored sarongs hanging around the walls and lots of books of designs to choose from.
I sat on the floor, crossed legged, with the books all around me, pouring over them .There were so many great designs, I couldn’t choose just one. Agus did not put any pressure on me, he was happy to sit and chat while I browsed. He gave me a drink, and the conversation flowed freely. Finally I made up my mind, and chose a sun symbol, which I felt would look great on my shoulder.
Agus started to get the instruments ready, and I watched in awe at the deep concentration in his eyes as he prepared the machine and inks. His care and attention to detail touched me deeply. He was such a calm, gentle man, nothing like the images I had conjured up in my mind of scary bikers, talking in gruff voices and laughing at the little girl wanting a tattoo.
The noise of the machine started, it had the low buzz of a dentists drill, and I tensed up immediately. Agus laid his gentle hand on my shoulder, and I relaxed in to his touch. He then brought the machine up to my shoulder, and started creating the design on my back. It really did not hurt anything like I thought it would, and it was such a small design, it was over quickly. I was on an adrenalin high, and I did not want it to stop! So I did what any girl would do, and asked for another tattoo!! This one I put on my foot, and it really did hurt like crazy, so I decided to stop after that!
We arranged to meet later that evening, and I moved in with him the next day. I forgot all about wanting to get a yacht to Australia. Instead, I flew to Singapore and back to Bali and got another 2 month visa. By the end of those 2 months, we were married! It was a whirlwind romance, but everything just fell in to place, and felt right. I had found the love of my life, on a little island, thousands of miles from where I had grown up. At the same time, I had found a place where I felt I belonged. There was still a long journey ahead of me, and many stumbling blocks along the way, but I was on the path to finding me.