The chill Hawaiian

On our last day in Maui, my partner and I decided one last trip to Paia was in order. Though we’d stayed in Ka’anapali, we fell in love with Paia. Not just because Mama’s Fish House is nearby, though that didn’t hurt. It’s just a sweet, small-feeling beach town. It’s a bit less resort-y and a lot closer to the airport than Ka’anapali, too.

We wandered about, checked out some shops and grabbed lunch at a brewery that was huge, pretty empty, and open all around for awesome ocean breezes. While eating lunch, I told my girl I wanted to get a lasting souvenir of our trip. I wanted a tattoo. I never imagined the day I’d get an “impulse tattoo” but when the urge hit, I listened. Not knowing if it was even possible to get a same-day, last minute ink job, we went into the first shop we saw. Bad vibe. Busy, standoffish, kinda snobby. I asked anyway, and they kind of looked me up and down as though assessing whether I was worth it. And then they said they were booked up, but I could check back if they had any cancellations. Thank god, because there is no way I should get a tattoo in a shop with a vibe that shitty.

Fortunately, Paia being a small place, there was another shop. Next door. So we walked up the stairs and in. Totally different game. The light coming through the windows was diffuse, it was a big, open space, and there was one dude behind the counter. He was polite, quiet, and listened to my request, my inquiry, rather, as to whether it might be possible to get a not so large tattoo, that day, in enough time to make it to the airport for our flight. We chatted a bit about what I wanted, he handed me flash to look through, and an hour later I had a Polynesian-themed sea turtle on the top of my foot.

He had the best demeanor. Not talkative, serious, but helpful. He assisted me in picking out colors, positioned the outline transfer in a good spot to maximize the space, made sure I was comfortable, and got to work. And it turned out great. I was a little worried it might get messed up because we had a red-eye and a second flight to get home and it was going to be wrapped and contained for that whole time. It healed beautifully. Next time I’m going to be there, I plan to schedule an appointment in advance. To get a shark on the top of my other foot. War and peace, you know.

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