Business in the front, party in the back

The Chinese are going to take over the world, and here's the evidence: a combination pen and bottle opener. ON A LANYARD. You can sign things and open beers all night, and it will still be around your neck when you wake up in the gutter.

ISI (or maybe ISSI) is a brand of beer in China. I got this as a promotional freebie at a restaurant - the deal was that if you ordered 100 yen of food (about $14 at the time) you got all the beer you could drink, free.

FREE BEER. My American mind reeled. They had two pallets of beer parked in the middle of the restaurant, and girls to serve it. The four of us drank twenty bottles of 20 ounces each. Hey, they also gave me a lighter. Where is that thing? You can tell safety isn't a high priority in China, lord knows how many drunk guys set things on fire that night.


One of my favorite travel stories, actually, is that I got attacked by my dinner there. It was a "hot pot" place--roughly speaking, Chinese fondue. They gave us a big pot of broth and a bunch of meat and vegetables on sticks. I'll give you the short version: the shrimp (impaled on sticks, mind you) were still alive. They didn't like the hot water and splashed it on my arm. I ate them anyway.