‘Ringing’ in the new year

1 January 2015

Today marks the beginning of a new blogging adventure: A Year in Jewelry.

Several years ago I was living in Beijing, China, when my younger brother, N, came to visit. We spent a week exploring the city, eating strange foods, drinking, and generally having a blast.

On December 31, 2012, I decided that it was time to get my nose pierced. I’d thought about it for a while, and decided it was high time. So, I plucked up my courage, gathered my brother, and headed to the nearby shopping center, Golden Towers.

Golden Towers
Golden Towers

N and I went up the stairs to this teeny booth where I had seen others get their noses (and ears) pierced before. Using my limited Mandarin and a lot of hand gestures I asked the woman to pierce my nose.



I picked out a relatively non-blingy stud that the woman sterilized using alcohol and the flame from a lighter. She drew a guide dot on my nose and I checked it out in the mirror and had N make sure it wasn’t off center or something. Then, the time came.

Checking the placement


Gripping N’s hand for dear life, I breathed heavily through my mouth as the tiny woman shoved the needle through my nostril with surprising force. OUCH. My eyes watered, N’s hand went numb, but I did it!

N thought it looked cool, Dad thought I had a blemish on my nose, and Mom was mad that I didn’t take her with me to get it.



A month or so later I had the woman take out the piercing stud, and I replaced it with a simple, removable stud.

While taking a shower that same evening I rubbed my face a little too vigorously. The nose stud popped out of my nostril and was down the drain before I could get it. Having no other studs on hand, I had to leave the hole empty. Big mistake.

When I was finally able to go back to the kiosk a few days later and buy a new nose ring, it didn’t fit. The hole had already closed up too much. So now, the woman had to re-pierce my nose, through the tender, growing tissue. Talk about major ouch.


Now I am never without a piece of jewelry in my nose. Today, it’s a simple silver ring that I got cheap at Claire’s in England.

Tomorrow? Who nose . . . er . . . knows?


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