Would you drink this?

Monday, June 25th, 2012

  • I’ve left the small Cambodian island of Koh Thonsáy and I’m back on the mainland, en-route to another island. While getting some supplies I came across this rather scary looking drink. Inside the bottle is a cobra snake with a scorpion! There was no label or obvious brand so it was impossible to know what the drink was or where it came from.

    Despite being on the shelf between the whiskey and rum, I wasn’t convinced this was a real drink so I found a member of staff and asked them. The young girl looked at me with an expression that said “What kind of dumb question is that?” To be clear I asked the question again.

    “This is to drink?” I asked with corresponding hand gestures bringing the bottle to my mouth and making a drunk face which was probably not entirely necessary now that I think about it.
    “Yes,” she answered.

    That could have been the answer to my question, but it may have been another occurrence of the ubiquitous ‘Asian yes.’ In this part of the world ‘yes’ can indeed mean yes, but it might also mean ‘no’ or simply ‘I have no idea what the hell you’re talking about.’ The trick is to ask the same question in a variety of ways then take the average response as the likely correct answer.

    I might have bought a bottle if I wasn’t constantly looking for ways to reduce my luggage. I suspect that people who buy this drink rarely intend drinking it, but who knows. The question is; would you drink it?