There was a story I heard a couple of times when I lived in Banquio about a Taiwanese businessman who fell asleep in the back of his BMW after a night out with clients and staff. He fell asleep in his backseat, too drunk to drive and woke up in Quanzhou, a port city in the Fujian Province, China.
The story was about car theft, and smuggling across the Taiwan Straits. Apparently, smugglers would steal expensive German-made cars in Taiwan, which in the 90s was much, much richer than China, put them in containers and take them across the strait in the dead of night.
Because I heard the story more than a couple of times, I thought it to be an urban legend.
I’d quip, “Hey, hey, a free trip to China”. But maybe it was true.
Money can’t buy you happiness. That’s what they say. But it can buy you a BMW and that can lead to circumstances unexpected.
I’ve found myself in lots of unexpected circumstances and places over the years, a couple of times waking up after a night of drinking, once under a shrubbery in a Taipei park.
I’m not proud of some of the things I’ve done. But some of the things are quite funny. I once woke up under the fat girl from upstairs. She was riding the baloney pony.
I parked and eventually abandoned my Yulong station wagon in Banquio, (then spelt Panchio), after moving north from Taichung. I simply didn’t need it anymore. Parking anywhere in the Greater Taipei city area with a population of six million was nightmarish.
As it turns out, the last time I parked my Yulong, it was next to an empty container on a side street behind a row of exceptionally ugly buildings, buildings bleeding rust from their balcony and window box bars. (The Taiwanese are very tolerant of ugliness. They will take functionality and practicality any day over aesthetics. I may be no scholar, or art critic, but Taiwan in the 90s was certainly no oil painting. That’s a fact.) Anyway, The next time I visited my Yulong, someone had stolen the radio. The time after that, the tires were all flat (and the container that I had parked beside was gone) and the time after that the Yulong was gone, evidently pulled away and scraped, not put in a container to China.