Self Defense, Anyone?

Last night, I went to Brass Monkey for $1NT beer night. Seriously (insert shameless plug), from 9pm-10pm every Tuesday all through February. Generally, it was a good time.

I heard a story though last night. My friend came to Luxy to hang out with me last Saturday. His brother and other friends went to Room 18. Apparently, unprovoked, one of his friends got beaten up and knifed by a group of gang members, and ended up in the hospital. (He’s fine, just a bit scarred.) Here in Taiwan, I can walk the streets at all hours of the night alone and still feel completely safe. There’s no fear here. Granted, common sense is still a big part of life, but it’s not like back in the States where you hear of assaults and rapes left and right, and you can’t walk anywhere by yourself after the sun sets, unless armed with three cans of mace and an uzi. But to be terrorized in a club, in a very public and crowded place, because the other people are just trying to look for trouble scares me even more. The bouncers didn’t do anything, the other patrons didn’t do anything, and even worse his own friends couldn’t do anything either, lest they have the same fate.

I know gang activity is prevalent in the States, but I’ve never lived anywhere where it was something I had to deal with. Here, it has always just been stories and rumors, but to have it happen to someone in the second degree makes it a huge reality check. I can’t just take the people I meet here for granted. The cultural divide is already great enough for me to be unable to confidently grasp people’s true personalities and intentions.

Which is also another reason why I’m trying to get back into shape, just in case someday I have to run away from something, at least my heart won’t collapse in the process.

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