Jan 16, 2013
Yun and I went to Halong Bay when we were in Nam. It's one of the new 7 wonders of the world, whatever that means. Along the way, we stopped at a roadside place for a bite to eat. Inside they sold something very unusual – Snake Wine. As you can see, it's some kind of booze with an entire dead snake inside. The snake happens to be holding a large scorpion in it's mouth and there are some ginseng roots floating about. The bottle cost 20 bucks. I just had to buy it to draw. It's illegal to take out of the country so I did this drawing in the hotel room, the night we stayed at Halong Bay. The snake looks like a little cobra but it is actually a rat snake. I read somewhere that they flatten the head of the snake to make it look cooler. I have no clue how they get the huge scorpion in there or in the snake's mouth, for that matter. They told me that only men can buy it. It gives you more virility. That seems pretty obvious. I found a website that will send it to you illegally. Check it out here. It costs $320.00 though. I'm sure if you are lacking virility, it's worth every penny. I didn't want to throw the bottle out after I was done drawing it. Yun suggested I give it to our driver along with his tip. It was wrapped up nicely in newspaper and I put it into a shopping bag with handles. I gave it to him when he dropped us back at our hotel. I never got to see the look on his face when he opened it. I'm sure he wasn't expecting anyone to give him a bottle of snake wine, especially not a tourist. He must have thought I was insane. He didn't know I was an artist who just wanted to draw it. Well, it's not everyday your given a bottle of virility juice from some stranger. Yun and I met a cook who told us a story while we were having coffee. He said that he was out with his male friends one night, it was one of their birthdays. They were in a club and wanted to do something special. For a large price, the owner brought out a live snake to them. He cut it open alive and took out the heart. The birthday boy got to eat it which is a big honor. He then took out the liver and squeezed the bile into each of their drinks. Then the tail was cut off and the blood drained into their drinks. A big night for young Vietnamese. I prefer a few shots of Jameson Irish whiskey with friends, myself. To each his own.