the things people do when they’re in foreign countries…

Frank: [about Birdie] She fell in love with Generalissimo Franco!

Kathleen: No, don’t say that. Really. We don’t know that for sure.

Frank: Well, who else could it have been? It was probably around 1960. I can’t believe this! I mean, it’s not like he was something normal, like a socialist or an anarchist or something.

Kathleen: It happened in Spain. People do really stupid things in foreign countries.

Frank: Absolutely. They buy leather jackets for much more than they’re worth. But they don’t fall in love with fascist dictators!

This is from one of my all time favorite movies, “You’ve Got Mail”, if you haven’t seen it or seen it in a while, you should, it’s so good. Anyway, I’ve been asked a few times what is something crazy or unexpected I’ve done here.  I would say that there have been probably a lot of small, insignificant moments of crazy, but only one “leather jacket” moment.

It’s really true that being in a foreign place, especially living there, not just on vacation, really lowers your inhibitions.  Lots of things seem not to matter too much anymore because there are much larger problems on the horizon compared to wondering what people will think about things.

The next to last night of National holiday (the first week of October, which we had off from work), Molly and I were talking about what we wanted to do on our last day off for awhile.  She mentioned that she was wanting another piercing in her ear and maybe we could find a place that could do it.  It was late and you know, sometimes things just come spilling out at night.  I mentioned that in the days of my youth (college) I had always wanted my nose pierced but couldn’t because of work and future work.  Well, Molly immediately said, “You’re doing it.” Somehow, in a few seconds I said, “Yeah, I think I will.”

Now, those who know me best, know that I really take my time considering “big” decisions.  I  take my time with a lot of decisions.  But somehow in this moment my brain sped up the analysis  and I thought, “Hey, what’s there to lose?”  In reality, nothing (well, maybe there was the risk of infection or something, but I wasn’t counting that).  It’s a completely reversible decision.  So, we hit up our go-to Shanghai expat websites to get a recommendation for a reputable piercing locale.  We decided on a place called Utopia Tattoo and after wandering around the city playing tourists for the day we made our way there and got our respective piercings done.

It went perfectly fine, minimal pain, no infection or anything afterwards, I actually completely forgot it was there most of the time.

A month later I took it out.

Not because it was bothering me or anything, and I actually think it looked good, but just because I was over the novelty of it. I loved it for that month and I’m glad I did it.  Whether it’s a nose piercing or a new hair cut or bolder clothing choices, whatever, I think it’s good to make a practice of trying to new things and taking little risks that you want to do and who knows, they might give you a small or large new perspective on things.  Since moving here I learned there is a lot of value in doing what you want to do and doing the most with the very few things you have control over.

So, here’s the photo evidence… IMG_3643

(Molly photographed the procedure, for better or worse…)


(immediately after)


(piercing free!)


One thought on “the things people do when they’re in foreign countries…

  1. Kristin,

    Enjoy reading your blog and your adventures. Loved your decision about getting your nose pierced, “…I had always wanted my nose pierced but couldn’t because of work and future work. Well, Molly immediately said, “You’re doing it.” Somehow, in a few seconds I said, “Yeah, I think I will.”

    Like you, I’d always wanted my nose pierced since college too. When I finally got it done, I realized it was me and defined my look which I loved.

    Must tell you that you might reconsider a little nose stud again. You have a pretty face and super cute nose. It really complimented both or your wonderful facial features.

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