So you want to get a piercing whilst travelling. Why? Because it makes a cool story and creates a memory. I was seriously tempted to get my nose pierced in India. To the point of sitting in the chair with a large needle hovering over my face. I chickened out – thank goodness!
I’ve met a few people who have told me some horror stories but that hasn’t really put me off. Most of it comes down to common sense. On our last day in Jodhpur we told a lady we’d like to get our ears and noses pierced. Fie minutes later a man turned up with earrings, a bottle, cloth and needle. It didn’t look like the healthiest of environments… What we should have discussed first is the actually piercing. In India the common thing is to twist the earring holding it place, whereas in England we use a butterfly clip. He pierced Lydia’s ear first twisting the back. Lydia freaked out saying she didn’t want this so he took it out rather painfully causing her ear to bleed and her tragus to pop out. He didn’t speak any English and we didn’t speak any Hindi so it was a messy confusion. Lydia asked him to put it back in however, he made a new hole resulting in more pain. Now, after a few months Lydia’s ear is all healed but it was still a nightmare!
My friend and I got the top of our right ears pierced on the island of Koh Phangan in Thailand. It might sound dodgy being the no.1 party island but actually it couldn’t have been anymore safe. The shop was owned by a Thai woman with a degree, spoke perfect English and informed us of all the safety precautions. She also asked us if we’d been drinking as alcohol thins the blood…and makes you stupid. We were given forms to read and sign before taking to the chair. It hurt but it was over quickly. We were asked to stay a little while in case we felt faint and were given cleaning products and told to clean it everyday.
In Udaipur, India I decided to get a third hole in my left ear. The jewellery shop was just down the road from our guesthouse. Feeling nervous after what happened in Jodhpur I grilled the guy about the piercings. He called his dad who managed to find a butterfly clip and he actually performed the piercing. It didn’t hurt at all and my ear didn’t bleed hooray. I was told that coconut oil is the best cleaning product to use which funnily enough began my love for it!
If you plan on getting anything pierced whilst travelling just be careful. Use your common sense, look at the area, ask if they sterilise the needle, check what jewellery they’ll use and ask them how to clean it. Also make sure you are 100% sure because how something looks travelling can look very different once you’re home. Unfortunately I can’t offer any help on tattoos…