Bangkok, Thailand Feb. 2011

Thailand: This is the country where Greg Irons came and was hit by a bus and killed while crossing the street. I think of him every time I step outside. I look to the left, I look to the right and I can’t remember which fucking way the traffic is coming from. I wonder what brought him here, if he tattooed while he was here. I have thought about him a lot since stepping out on this trip, even from the beginning. It’s that all encompassing unknown that can turn out incredible or tragic. I know he got tattooed while he was here, he got one of the tattoos that provide protection and then he was hit by a bus. So much for that.

Greg Irons, one of my all time favorites and a huge inspiration.

Bangkok was streets packed with tourists and tuk tuks, motorcylces, taxis, breakdancers, cripples, vendors, tinkers, prostitutes, pimps and food carts selling Pad Thai, fried bugs, spring rolls, t- shirts, drunk Europeans and Australians, flying neon toys and the like. Native women dressed all in black, with black teeth walked around selling trinkets and wooden frogs that made a ribbit sound when you dragged a piece of wood along the ridge of the frogs back. There were tattoo shops every five feet with signs for bamboo and machine TATTOO. Tattoos were everwhere, I barely even felt special. I also went and checked out the Kings palace. No one was allowed to wear shorts inside. A man sat at the entrance stopping everyone in shorts, redirecting them to go and get a sarong or pants at the counter. The palace was crazy fancy, golden and jewel encrusted. Over all, Bangkok is a pretty exciting place but a bit like Vegas – best to get in and out in around 3 days.

fancy golden pillars

All peace and love and shit like this...

I went to Th Sukhumvit or Soi Cowboy with some friends, a single road with around 30 bars and enough neon and seediness to make you think of Vegas. This is where all the hookers ply their trade, they stand outside and flaunt their shit. The girls in a specific club are dressed in the same outfits. Inside the go go bars there are 5 – 25 ladies up on the bar, some with poles and some without, wearing little numbered badges on them. You find the one you want, tell the Madame in charge and place your order. One place I went there were 5 girls on stage, all nude and line dancing lethargically to the Rolling Stones. An older man that looked like Francis Ford Coppolla was sitting right across the stage from me getting a handjob under the table in clear view of our entire side of the bar. He would just kind of casually reach up and squeeze the ladies breasts and tweak her nipples. I sat there in awe, drinking my whisky and smoking. They both stared straight ahead. The American owner, a vet, kept playing the Stones and was so excited that I liked them that every time he put a new song on he would run up and cheers me, coercing me into singing a long with him. The girls were cute and naked, so I hung out a little longer and tried my best not to sit in any stains. When they began to close, a woman brought in large plates of duck and fruits and vegetables, they began to pour drinks all of which was for Chinese New Year. The food was not for eating and the drinks were not for drinking, they were all for the Gods. There’s a very interesting dynamic in Thailand, of holiness and depravity. Temples and monks are everywhere, but so are hookers, handjobs and ping pong shows. Later on in the night I put a stranger in a headlock for running up and grabbing a girl friend of mine and then I made out with a “waitress” from one of the bars. I got the hell out of there and headed to that lonely island down south.

Soi Cowboy

More soon – thanks for reading


About jason tyler grace

I've been tattooing for 12 years or so and traveling the world for around 17 months. I have tattooed in Costa Rica, Panama, Peru, Bolivia, Argentina, Chile, Germany, France, Holland, and Australia.
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