After Ari had finished with his Shishi Koda tattoo, it was my turn. I’ve been wanting to add another tattoo after the Koda tattoo. This time, it was Aina’s turn to get tattoed on me. I didn’t really want to have her face as the tattoo. It would be too complicated… and what if the tattoo didn’t look like her? Oh that’d be a nightmare!
So, I had another plan. Aina’s middle name is Cempaka, a very fragrant flower that’s also known as Michelia Alba. Flower tattoo would be perfect, no? Ari drew and designed the tattoo a few months back, not long after the Koda tattoo was done. And I loved the drawing!
After searching high and low, Noushka recommended Khobes as the tattoo artist. And since we were going to be in Jakarta for the Christmas and New Year holiday, she made an appointment for us. And Khobes came to Chili’s house to do some tattooing sessions today.
So, it was all good, right? Of course, noooo… During Christmas Eve, I started to feel feverish. Then, it broke into a flu-like symptom that lasted to today… And according to the tattoo rules, you should not be tattooed when you’re not feeling well. I didn’t feel well.
So after Khobes was finished with Ari’s tattoo, he took a smoke break and got ready for my cempaka tattoo. I chose to be the last, hoping by the time Khobes was done with everyone else, I have felt better. Nope. Did not feel better.
But since we were already in Jakarta, and I really wanted to have that Cempaka tattoo, and Ari already had his, and I would be very jealous every time I see his arm, which would be everyday… I decided to go ahead.
Well, whaddayaknow… There is a reason why you should not be tattooed when you’re not feeling well. It hurt like hell. Well, there is this issue of the body is fighting an infection, and when you are tattooed, which is basically making a big wound on your skin, it just added stress and chance of another infection. So the antibody has to work extra hard in the fighting. This site gives a good explanation about being tattooed when you’re sick.
As for me, it just hurt like hell. Normally, the after about 10-15 minutes of a tattoo session, the adrenalin kicks in, and you don’t really feel the pain of the needles. It’s like, you can ignore the pain and don’t really feel it. That’s probably why Ari said his 3-hour shishi didn’t hurt. When I had my 3rd tattoo, the Hanuman, my adrenalin kicked in and I didn’t feel the pain either… until after it passed the 3-hour mark, and it started to feel uncomfortable.
Well, this time, it looked like my adrenalin didn’t kick in and the “natural opium” effect didn’t happen to me. All I remember was I could feel every single sting on my sensitive feverish skin. And it was very uncomfortable. VERY!
The Cempaka was smaller and a lot less complicated than Ari’s Shishi, so it only took Khobes one hour to do. But I was exhausted and almost gave up towards the end. I was sweating profusely, cringing the whole time. It wasn’t a good experience. I didn’t understand how Ari could endure that for 3 hours… (although a few years later, I found out with the “natural opium” effect, 3-hour session is totally doable).
So when Khobes said it was done, I was sooooo happy. Very happy that the Cempaka looks perfect, exactly as I imagined. And very happy that the pain was over. Whew, I made it.