I’m not much of a collector, but it does give me much pleasure to add to my country lapel pin collection.
The rules for this collection are simple. If I visit a new country, then I treat myself with a new lapel pin (transit stops don’t count). Right now, my collection stands at a very modest 14 pins which is why I’m hell-bent on collecting more.
I think obsession with these lapel pins is too strong a word, but it might be the closest English word to describe it. I used to be excited about travelling anywhere…now I’m only excited if I get a new lapel pin (I’m writing this in China, a country lapel pin I’ve already collected).
Recently, I think obsession, or whatever you call it, has officially crossed over to the dark side. I was given a voucher to fly anywhere in Asia. Given my timeframe, my options were these:
- Visit a friend in Korea
- Visit a friend in Taiwan
- Go to Japan by myself and get a new lapel pin.
Shouldn’t that be a no-brainer? Visit friends I haven’t seen in forever or get a new lapel pin? Sad to admit, it wasn’t as clear cut as it should have been. Now, I won’t say that the lapel pin was a dominant factor in my decision, but I’d say it was more like 35%, which is honestly 35% too high.
In the end, I did come to my senses to visit a friend in Taiwan and geopolitics dictate that I do not get a new lapel pin (The UN’s official position is that Taiwan is indeed part of a sovereign China).
But I’m here in Taipei and it could not be any more different than the Mainland (I’m on Facebook, for goodness sakes).
So I know it matters little, my humble declaration on this sticky political situation.
But I declare Taiwan a free and independent state.
Now give me my lapel pin.