Had a very interesting day yesterday. I woke up early, but didn't eat until 1 pm or so, when I had some Hainan chicken. Wanted to check out the Museum, but it was Sunday and they have a ratio of 3,000 visitors per day, so I decided to hold off until Tuesday. I asked a PLA cadet where I could buy some army suplus the night before and he showed me where on a map, so I took a motorcycle taxi over there.
I had to ask several people for directions before I found it; there was very little in my size, and the lady working there thought my huge feet were hilarious, because the largest shoes she had in stock wouldn't come close to fitting me (I'm only a US size 13). I appear to be learning Mandarin through osmosis here, incidentally...I like it.
After picking up my PLA surplus clothing, I walked up the street for the heck of it. I'd checked out a tattoo place online, but hadn't planned on getting inked since I'm running low on funds. Well, I found the tattoo place and asked about getting a Chinese dragon on my shoulder and chest. The shop was full of teapots and Chinese curios (snuff bottles, figurines, etc) and the centerpiece of the room was a huge Kamjove tea table.
I bargained the price down since I was trying to pay in USD, and only had 1,500 RMB cash left. He only wanted RMB, so I made him an offer and he accepted!
After a quick TGY session, we got started. My tattoo took a whopping five-and-a-half hours in full black and gray with incredible shading...it is truly a work of art, and I'm very happy with it. The tattoo artist took a liking to me and I drank tea throughout the session, and even had some beer. After I was done, he ordered in beers and amazing Hunanese food. I've never had Hunanese food, but WOW! That stuff was good. Better than Szechuan if you ask me.
The guys were chainsmoking and kept offering me cigarettes, so I finally caved in and had a few, including two with slivers of sandalwood (I think) in them. He even gave me a 100g or so of tea to take home
I tried to tip him, but he wouldn't let me, so I promised to let people know how good the guy is (and he is amazing).
EDIT: it appears I didn't go to the same guy I found online. Will create a Facebook profile for him since it's banned in China!