I put my trust in Alan to help me kick off my 25th birthday and was not disappointed, instead I was pleasantly surprised. :)
At around 10:30 p.m. we met up at the Longshan Temple MRT and wandered around a night market in the area which included a walk down Snake alley, where we witnessed a man slaughter a snake. I was not allowed to take a video, but even if I could, I don't know that I would. I couldn't bear to watch the actual slaughter, which Alan described to me later as first banging the snake's head on the cement ground and then hanging it on a hook from the ceiling, then running the knife up the snake's body in a swift motion eliciting a "zipper" sound, and then collecting the blood in a glass cup. People eat snakes. They eat their meat, their blood and their insides to improve skin quality, I'm sure people also eat them for the novelty factor. We did not. I think what horrified me more than the slaughter which I really only saw 5 percent of, was the overcrowded cage of white mice on the sides of each snake restaurant. Ugh.
So, after a little wandering, we walked to Alan's cousin Sam's friend's house for Mah-Lah Hot Pot (which means reallly really spicy hot pot). We originally planned to eat a little, drink a little and head out to a lounge, but what ended up happening was better and cheaper. We stayed in and played drinking games.
I was the only girl in a group of about 10 guys, all Taiwanese locals except for Alan. They were all friends from HS and came together to celebrate one guy's (his nickname is shiau shong which translates to small bear) soon departure to army training, which is mandatory (and about 11 months long) in Taiwan. So by the middle of the night he had a plastic bag tied around his neck in preparation for all the drink he would be having. Alan and I spent a good amount of the beginning just listening in on their conversations and trying to learn colloquials, but by the end we were engaged in universal games of drinking. It was just a good time of all the guys making fun of each other and themselves. Like it should be.
I didn't capture all that I wanted to since my camera battery died but the highlights included "Baby Lee" (one of the guys) singing "Someone Like You," for me/ my birthday (REALLY well, it was sweet) and Shiau Shong doing a hip hop dance for us which included grinding up against the wall. The below videos capture the tamer times at the start of the night...
Thanks, Alan and all the guys for making the first few hours of my 25th so memorable. Lots of love.