Lonely and trying to figure out a new city, I decided to pay tribute to Dionysus. So I went out and
paid a lot of tribute got drunk. It was about 11am.
Note, at this time Taiwanese don’t drink. So I’m breaking every rule I have of trying to fit in and not being an asshole foreigner who walks around hammered in the day time.
I walked for God knows how long…Kenny was playing on repeat on my ipod, so I figured I knew when to hold em, fold em and all that. Kept my head down and walked from 7-11 to 7-11. Obviously buying beers, drinking them inside and looking forward to the next one.
I ran across a coconut juice stand. Thirsty as hell, I approached and used my limited Mandarin (now handicapped by I don’t know how many beers).
This stall was run by a very old Taiwanese man and (I assume) his equally old wife. He saw my approach. Came up and asked me what I wanted. I pointed to a coconut (unable to speak at this point).
He went and started doing his thing to give me the bottle. I discovered that I had 2 beers in my pockets. Offerered him one and he smiled, beetlenut spilling out of his mouth. He came up and took the beer, thanking me and giving me my coconut juice.
Should be noted here, this guy could barely stand….he limped to me with extreme discomfort to trade the coconut juice for the beer.
I thanked him and walked a bit, found a bench and sat my drunken ass down to drink the juice.
Next thing I see is this coconut juice guy hobbling toward me with cruthches. He wanted to know where I was from and blah blah blah…. We talked for a while and I told him where I lived, then helped him get back to his stall. After that, I took what was left of my beer, chugged it (coconut juice was completely gone by this point) and walked off in the totally wrong direction.
I walked 5 blocks till I realized I was going the wrong way. Frustrated, I turned around, and I see the coconut juice guy hobbling away VERY hard on his crutches, chasing me, trying to tell me I’ve been walking the wrong way. He was 2 lights away and waving his hands.
My heart broke.
Might not seem like much, but for this crippled guy to try and chase me down to tell me I’m going the wrong way – ignoring all his pain -was amazing. He tried to chase me down solely to help me out – ignoring his stall, his wife and most importantly, how much pain it must have caused him to try and chase after me.
Old or young, the Taiwanese are amazing people, and I’m glad I had the opportunity to meet that coconut juice man! What an awesome representation of Taiwan!