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Those We Meet Abroad



I couldn't sleep, yet again, so I thought it'd be a

good idea to check on my roommate, Matt, who was

supposed to be at Roxy 99, the bar where all the foreigners

go. I've been trying to school him on life lately, so I

thought I'd check on his progress. Anyways, right beside

there is a Taiwanese breakfast restaurant that has good

food in the late night hours.

I showed up on my bike to the breakfast joint and

saw police and an ambulance parked at the corner 711,

treating a foreigner who had a lot of blood on the right side

of his face, and a big bandage over the area. That sh&t

looked pretty interesting, so I got breakfast, but pegged a

couple of foreigners sitting at the sidewalk as people I'd

ask about it once my chow was down.

I approached the two middle-eastern looking guys

and found out they were Mexican. One was younger and

pretty cool looking. The other looked a bit older - mid-30's -

and was a bit off the handle. He was swearing a lot in

Spanish, maybe testing if I understood, or just for the fun

of it.

We started talking, sharing cigarettes, and they

knew nothing about what happened earlier. I seemed to

know more than them. They were good guys.

Then, another random white guy walked up, a bit

bigger than myself, smiling and grinning as he looked at

"Isa", the older Mexican. They knew each other from before!

What a blast! They were reminicing over stuff they shared

moons ago. Then they shared military brotherhood stuff

that us non-Military guys can't seem to relate to.

It seems as though Monte, the American, went to

West Point, and Isa, the Mexican, used to be some kind of

an executioner, as he called himself, in the Mexican

military. I know from years abroad not to drink everyone's

Kool-Aid, as some people take liberty with the experience

of being abroad to become people they ain't. But Monte had

a humongous middle knuckle on his right fist, about half

the size of an egg, with a pussie eye-ball staring out at you.

Emelio, the other Mexican, apparently had a lot of

experience back home with medical stuff, and said that fist

needed treatment right away, and with a scalpal and other

supplies, he could handle it. This West Point guy, Monte,

had a camouflage backpack full of medical supplies - he's a

surfer? - and they started looking. Apparently, Monte left

his scalpal at home because he wanted to get into a club, so

they were left with scissors, or whatever else would do to

open the wound. They ended up using that iodine stuff to

pour on the infected knuckle, while squeezing puss out of

it. This was all happening at 711, at 6am, while I smoked a

cigarette and drank beer!

Emelio and Isa worked on squeezing out the puss

for a while, while Monte avoided questions on how his

knuckle got so big. When they were all done treating it, and

telling Monte he needed a hospital or the fungus would take

his whole finger, we resumed drinking and smoking together.

Monte, a former US soldier, and Isa, a former Mexican

soldier started barking commands at each other, going nose to

nose, as if they had a score to settle. They convinced us that it

was just military sh&t, and we shouldn't mind. Somehow, this

was supposed to be therapeutic for all the crazy things they'd

been through.

One thing - Military tough guy stuff - led to another thing -

MMA tough guy stuff - and before you knew it, Monte and Isa

were sparring each other, slapping each other in the face, until

Isa threw Monte over some parked bicycles! Monte didn't like

that and got up ready to fight, as any sobre minded individual

would, and the stuff started to escalate.

Emelio and I did the best we could to let them have

their fun, and then distract them when it got too much. Emelto

even received MMA training from Monte, being ground and

pounded and choked out on the sidewalk, in front of 711.

I sat with Isa, and he told me about chopping off people's

heads, and eating hearts and brains in the Mexican military. He

said that it's just part of what goes into it. I figured, as a long-

time expat, that he was just taking liberties with his Mexican

heritage, as he may have been. At the same time, however, he

stuck to his story, mostly. I even told him that I didn't really

believe him, seeing as how foreigners are master-bullsh&tters,

but that if he said it happened, I would take his word for it.

This was all after he punched me in the face!

It was my turn to buy beers, so I bought 'em and came

outside to see Isa slapping open-palmed Emelio in the face. It

seemed like a cool drunk-guy game we were playing, so I told

Isa to hit me in the face. He begged not to, but I persisted, think-

ing I could take any slap! I told him 99%, but he pleaded down

to 10%, saying 100% would kill me. Fine, he really didn't want

to, but as a proud Canadian, I wasn't about to be bested by a

bunch of Mexicans and a drunk American soldier.

So, BOOM, he punched me closed-fist in the NOSE! I

had been clenching my jaw for a slap, and he punched me in the

nose. Yeah, I was bleeding, quite a bit. It's funny, because

moments before, I had searched out a bathroom, and one old

Taiwanese man had given me a bunch of tissues, but then told

me they had no bathroom in that building. DOH! Nevertheless,

I had found a bathroom, had a pocket full of tissue, and now a

nose to stuff it in.

Isa apologized profusely, but as a happy Canadian, having

proved my mettle, I told him: "Don't say sorry; say 'De na da.'" I

reasoned that he didn't want to do it, and I had begged him to do

it, so I told him "Gracias, amigo!" and he should say "your

welcome, Calbrone!"

This led into philosophy, as poor Emelio was being ground

and pounded by Monte, the badass white guy from Seattle. Isa saw,

by the end of it, that I really had been a missionary, even if now

without Christ, as the way I preached self-forgiveness and life to him

as a means to cope with the crazy things he claimed to have done.

But ol'Monte, true and blue, came back in the picture. The

weird West Point grad with an army backpack full of medical

supplies resumed his military tough guy talk with Isa. Emelio had

to leave, but I volunteered to stay and keep the peace, and/or see

the crazy sh&t go down when it would.

Needless to say.... THE sh&t WENT DOWN!

Monte was talking crazy sh&t in Spanish and English to poor

Isa, who sat beside me, taking the abuse, being called a "puta" and

a "bitch," until he stood up to fight. Only he didn't fight. He grabbed

a bottle, smashed it where I was sitting between the two - I had to

brush shards of glass from my nearly bald head - and started talking

about cutting out hearts!

At this point they were toe to toe and Isa tried to slice his

OWN chest with the broken glass, while Monte pushed him against

a building pillar OUTSIDE 711 at 7am. The crazy thing was that Isa

wasn't fighting back. He was putting his arms out like Christ on the

cross while Monte got in his face, choked his throat, and slapped him

in the face (wish mine was only a slap!).

It got to the point where Monte punched Isa twice, and I jumped

in, pushing him back against the wall while he kept grabbing at my

jugular, telling him to back off, and yada-yada-yada. I thought I had

some cool one-liners about life and philosophy, but he wasn't having it.



At one point while I played peacemaker, Monte whispered in

my ear that I didn't know Mexican culture, and Isa taking the blows

without responding was just what Isa wanted! ?????? it.... Isa walked

away, and, demoralized, but damn proud of the Mexecutioner for walk-

ing away, I invited Monte to sit with me, thinking I could rap some

sh&t to him about life.

We didn't have but one minute before Isa returned, just as Monte

predicted, red-eyed, and full of rage, and they were back to yelling at each

other. Only this time, it was Monte on bended knee as Isa swore "puta" at

him while sitting beside me, telling him: "Isa, we gotta go! The cops are

coming. Come with me! It's the only place you'll be safe!" Isa didn't seem

to wanna buy the BS, but nevertheless, asked me for my shirt. He had a

white shirt with blood all over it from his chest, and needed my shirt to

pretend he wasn't THE ONLY MEXICAN IN TAIWAN!

?????? it! I gave him my shirt, being the gracious Canadian and all,

realizing that now I had a bleeding foot from the glass, and a bloody nose

from his punch, not to mention no shirt and a bald head that read "gang-

banger" all over it. I had to boogy.

They left with each other, those two disfunctional lovebirds, and I

sailed off on my bike.

But before I left the scene of a million cigarettes and beer cans, not

to mention broken bottles and some blood, I imparted some final wisdom

to spectating high school girls in that fabulous Taiwanese breakfast restaurant

I had originally sailed out for: "Girls, this is why war is bad. They were in war,

and now their heads ain't right. War is bad."

They giggled, and I rode shirtless into the sunny morning, home, to

write this story.

Mike "shotgun" Towle


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Mike,You sure run around with a bunch rough dudes! Me, I like the mild mannered types I know who you can sit back with, relax, eat and drink at you leisure and enjoy the company til pass midnight, as long it's not too expensive or some one is picking up the tab afterwards and get home safely! Art The Mild Mannered Dude

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Lol.... I don't run with these guys at all. At first it was fun to meet a few Mexicans and talk. If the white dude never showed up, I think all would've continued nicely. He was a nutter though, and brought out the worst in one of the Mexicans, and from there, everything else happened. I probably should've left when things were getting out of hand, but there were parents walking their kids to school already, and I didn't want to leave those two alone with each other. I tried to play the role of peacekeeper, and by the end of it, I was the one standing on the sidewalk with no shirt, a bloody nose, and a cut shirt! lol... If the police had shown up, that would've been the biggest screw up of my time in Taiwan so far. I will no longer be drawn in by such types. The place I got breakfast is beside a sleazy bar for sleazy foreigners and Taiwanese. I'll just avoid it from now on.

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