An Idiot Abroad

So my brother popped round from Scotland to say hello. Unknown to me, he had a certain peanut headed buffoon in his luggage, known to the world as Pistachio, but to his mum as Ali. The thing is they didn’t get on the same flights to China so Gregor arrived first and Ali was to follow a few hours later. Back in Scotland they had schemed and plotted a way in which Pistach could surprise me. Elaborate plans involving a karaoke serenading were discussed. This, of course, would never have worked. In reality, Pistach arrived in Shanghai Hongqiao Airport, bewildered and lost, he shuffled into an unmarked taxi and directed it to take him into the city. Receiving undercover texts from Gregor of our whereabouts he suddenly realised that Shanghai is a pretty big place and he had no idea where he was going. Signalling wildly for the illegal cabbie to stop he got out the car in the middle of a packed Nanjing Road and yelled, “Does anyone speak English?!” “I do!” Replied a helpful Chinese man, approaching the stricken tourist. “And do you speak Chinese as well?” Asked Pistach wisely, “because that’s pretty important too.” Thanks to the good Samaritan he made his way to the restaurant we were in and burst through the door like a victorious invader. Confused, I reacted fairly instantly by yelling “Fuck off. Fuck off.” Across the busy restaurant. It was a very surreal moment and it genuinely took a while to set in. I suddenly began to think more friends from Scotland were going to troop in, like This Is Your Life, but as it was, Gregor and Pistach were more than enough.

The next week was a bit of a blur. I’m not going to regale every detail as there were too many moments to describe and I know my mum reads this. As it was, it was the best week I’ve had since I’ve arrived in Shanghai, I’ve not laughed that hard and that constantly for bloody ages and we invented a new game, which will surely set the drinking world on fire – Garcon.

Garcon. Players – 3 to 1 million.
Aparatus – 1 tray. Some beers/beverages.
Location – Literally anywhere, walking about scenic Chinese towns is recommended.

Rules – The garcon is allocated by a quick challenge that involves everybody. For us it was a press-up competition in the street. The loser is the garcon. The garcon must now carry the tray with everybody’s beer on it. When anyone wants a drink they can summon the garcon and imbibe. Upon returning the drink to the tray the garcon must say, “It’s a pleasure serving you sir.” Or something to that effect. When all the drinks are empty the changing of the garconship can begin. Firstly, the current garcon can suggest a new rule for the next garconship. Suggestions – The garcon must only carry the tray with his/her left hand. Etc. Secondly – A new challenge is agreed upon by all the players to decide the new garcon. It must be roughly fair for everyone involved. Our second challenge was a cake eating competition. Our third a one handed banana eating race. Our fourth, a head-stand competition. And so on. Oh, and if the garcon drops or spills anyone’s drink, the punishments are quite deservedly severe.

I might add that during the playing of garcon we also included a bit of dancing with some old ladies in the park, of which I think Gregor has quite a beezer of a video.

Anyway, enjoy playing Garcon. I’m off to book my holiday to Fujian!

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