Lorenzo Pirisino


Posted on 2006/05/16 14:53:45 (May 2006).

[15th May 2006]

Taiwan was a bit of a Dejavu this time. Last year I was here for the last match of the football season, like this year.
I was here during a typhoon, like this year.
Something extremely unpredictable and quite "new" happened to me, and so this time.....

The day started quite early, at 8 in the morning we had the meeting with Jimmy (the agent, on the right) to start the usual round of customers. We finished around 6 PM, quite a long day considering that I didn't sleep at all at night.

In the evening the much dreaded dinner with Richard and Jimmy had to take place.
I say much dreaded not because I don't like the food or my hosts, but because they always speak in Chinese and it's hard for me to strike conversation.

Anyways we stopped at Richard's (the guy on the left above) house and moved from there to a fish restaurant in the vicinity. You get to choose the fresh fish from a stand outside the restaurant, and then they cook it for you.
Needless to say that the dinner was simply MARVELLOUS, the food was really nice and tasty.

Of course during the dinner we must drink, I was given the classic choice between Beer (Taiwanese), Whiskey and Wine.
I opted for a beer and wine, so Richard got two bottles of Taiwanese brew and three bottles of a red Argentinian wine.

During the dinner many alleged friends of Richard joined, a total of six uninvited guests sat, drank and ate with us.
Friends are necessary here, everyone is a friend of a friend, who does this and that for you. You eat at your friend's place, you buy wine at your friend's shop and so on.
They talk a lot about italian mafia, but certainly China has got something running too...

Of course I was introduced to all of the friends (thus becoming a friend myself), managed even to speak some Japanese with one of the guys who came, but most importantly I had to do the "HOTTARA" thing.
HOTTARA means "bottoms up" and in a typical Taiwanese style you invite a guest at the table to drink with you in one shot. As you can imagine the small glasses are completely full of whatever liquid you are drinking, so in the end, laughing and smiling I downed a total of at least twelve shots in one go, all in the space of one hour and half.

To make things better I was also introduced to this kind of Taiwanese drug, basically an acorn (on the right) wrapped in an unknown leaf. The effects are rather simple:sexual stimulation and a sensation of heat running from the stomach (though you can only chew the acorn, you cannot swallow anything not even your saliva).
I'd try anything once at least, I am no drug virgin, so I thought that I'd give it a go. Taste was quite boring, it was just like chewing a piece of green wood.
To much amusement and amazement of my new Chinese "friends" I didn't feel anything at all... We concluded (in a qute racist way) that maybe it doesn't affect foreigners.

What I felt was the alcohol though, at the end of the dinner I was completely out, on the dangerous border between drunk and sick.
This border was the main guest of my second sleepless night in a row, but at least this time I cannot blame it on the jet lag!

Once again Taiwan proves quite interesting under the experiences point of view, last year it was the sexy karaoke, this time the Chinese drug (it is sold on the streets but it is perfectly legal).

What next?!

Comment 1

It seems that Taipei always proposes you a new adventure everytime you go there!!! What should I expect from next time...???

The funny thing is that if you look at them: I mean Jimmy and Richard , they look so calm and quite inoffensive..... I do not mean that they are dangerous but really I
did not imagine that they the sexy karaoke of last time was just the starting point!!!

Posted by Marta at 2006/05/16 15:28:24.

Comment 2

Glad you've recovered Lox! I hope you are not hooked!

Posted by Nigel at 2006/05/16 15:39:28.

Comment 3

Marta: In reply to the first question..... Gay Bar maybe? (hope not)....

Posted by Lox at 2006/05/16 15:41:26.

Comment 4

Nigel: Hard to be hooked on something like that, but it was worth the try... :)

Posted by Lox at 2006/05/16 15:44:07.

Comment 5

..... he says reaching into his jacket pocket for some secret acorny goodness!!!

Posted by kev at 2006/05/16 16:20:00.

Comment 6

I hope for you ...that next time it will not be a Gay bar.....better for me then sexy karaoke ???? :)))

Posted by Marta at 2006/05/16 16:45:38.

Comment 7

Looks like a giant bogey to me...!

Posted by Sheri at 2006/05/16 17:07:52.

Comment 8

Sheri: OOOOOUUUCH... that hurts... In the mid of all ot fumes of wine and beer you mean that I might have swallowed a bogey?!?!

Posted by Lox at 2006/05/17 02:52:53.

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