January 25, 2011
I have now been homeless for over a year…
I am in a coffee house in Tokyo Japan as I write this. A coffee is about 5 fucking dollars. What the hell am I thinking? I managed to find one of the cheapest places to sleep in Tokyo that isn’t one of the pods (which I would like to try) and it is 33 dollars a night. This is a big change from the experiences of South America, where it is possible to live on very little a day. Which is my goal on this trip, I don’t have a lot of money, so living on the cheap is a must and it is a serious challenge in the land of the rising sun.
I didn’t expect to be in Japan. I was going to Australia but the dates fell through for the shop I was going to work at and I wanted to continue on the “I dont understand shit around me” path. So I chose to head to Thailand and do mainland South East Asia, little did I realize that to get there from SF you have to stop in Japan. So why the fuck not?
I am sorry for the delay in getting the second post of this up and out. I wanted to but it was a very crazy month. It dawned on me at a certain point that I was soon going to be out of money and needed to make it back to the states for a short stint to rebuild the cash flow.
I left South America from Bolivia on Dec 17th, flew to NYC to work at Three Kings in Brooklyn and stay with Daniel Albrigo, a hell of a cook, psychadelic mushroom farmer and all around swell dude. I worked at the shop for a week and a half or so and also went to Connecticut to surprise my momma for Christmas. She had no idea that I was heading back to the states and was missing me a good bit. I took the train from NY to CT and caught a taxi from a Jamaican dude with his fingers missing from a machete chop. He took me to my moms husbands house, deep in the woods. She wasn’t home so I ran inside and grabbed her phone book searched for an address of where she might be, ran out back to the taxi and we were off again, deeper into the woods. We pulled up to the house and I saw her car, I tipped the Jamaican cab driver with cut off fingers well and snuck up to the house. I could see through the glass door and two kids caught my eye, they wandered up and I held my finger up to my mouth telling them to be quiet. I opened the door and let myself into a room of wealthy white people who were all a bit stunned to see this strange tattooed man letting himself into the house. I saw my mom in the kitchen and snuck up behind her, tapping her on the shoulder, nearly giving her a heart attack. She held onto me for about a minute and a half, crying and squeezing. I heard the whispers of her friends… “I think that’s Elieens son Jason”. It was a nice welcome home and its always nice to make your mom feel special.
I spent a couple of days with her and headed back to NY to do a couple more tattoos and see some friends. Three Kings was great, very welcoming, cute shop girls, and real American money. It took me a while to remember how to charge. South America being so cheap. But they all helped me through into the new year.
After NY I made my way back to SF and to Idle Hand Tattoo, my family, who I missed so much. Tattooed 15 days straight, got 24 extra pages added to my passport, traded out some clothes and shoes for some stuff left in storage. Got drunk a lot with all of my peeps (who said I hurt their livers, but I think they forget that they hurt mine as well) and hopped on the plane for Japan.
I want to give a shout out to all of the people that helped me out over the past year, the shops and hostels that supported me along the way…
Antonelis Navarrete in Panama City
Enrique Patino and the other dudes in Lima Peru at Arte Sagrado
Pepes Tattoo Family in La Paz Bolivia
Well Done Tattoo, the best shop I ever done seen in South America, let alone Buenos Aires Argentina.
Red Lotus Tattoo in Santiago Chile, hospitality and great work, Freddy and Nishinja are both great artists and hosts.
Benjamin Belsky a bad ass mofo living for the moment in Bunos Aires…
Walter De Souza Lobo an amazing tattooer in Paraguay
and Naza, the only tattooer I met who had a thermofax, he does amazing black work in Buenos Aires
Loki hostel was amazing and fun as shit, they have hostels in Peru and Bolivia, if you ever make your way to either of these spots I highly recommend it…
Kokopelli hostel also put me up for a month in Mancora Peru in exchange for some Murals – Props!
I also have to give props to a dude that inspires the shit out of me and sets a prime example of how to do this, I stand on the shoulders of giants, Chad Koeplinger is a constant inspiration…
And now I am in Tokyo for a very short while, hanging out with the dudes from Inkrat, who rule hard.
In a week or so I will head to thailand and do South East Asia with a very limited budget and no real plans. We’ll see where the road takes me, and what the tattoo gods provide, with their help I wont be back to the States for another year…
Thank you so much to all of the people that got tattooed while I was back in the States and on the road, I am traveling with your help and support. You guys are all cool as ice.