Nothing is more exciting than exchanging customs. A few years back in Turkey while scuba diving we made friends with our dive instructor and when the day was finished he invited us back to his brother's nightclub. After a few drinks at the night club he and one my more macho friends decided to one-up each other in manliness.
It started off with a competition to see who could chug their beer the fastest. My friend 1, Turkish diving instructor zero. To recover his manliness, the Turk challenged my friend to an arm wrestle and after a well fought battle the manliness score was tied 1-1. Now, you certainly can't have two alpha males and there needs to be a way to separate the men from the boys. Enter the 'Tequila Suicide'. For those of you not accustomed to manly drinking games the Tequila Suicide involves salt, tequila, and lemon. Sounds like a straightforward shot right? Wrong... You must make a line with the salt and snort it up your nose, followed by a shot of tequila, and then topped off by dripping the lemon into your open eyes. What better way to prove you have bigger balls then the other guy!
My friend's challenge of doing the Tequila Suicide was eagerly accepted by the Turk. Now, I will say that to watch 2 men compete in this challenge is enormously entertaining. By the end of the challenge you see 2 tough guys sneezing and tears flowing down their cheeks. They looked really tough!
But, as both of them completed the challenge they were still at a draw. What to do?
In a final show of one-upmanship, the Turk flipped the shot glasses upside down and poured tequila on top of the shotglass. He poured enough for the tequila to run to the edge of the shotglass and form a slight bubble held together by the surface tension. What on earth was he planning? He handed a straw to my friend and said 'Now, we sniff the Tequila into our nose...'
Both guys snorted the tequila up their nose and began screaming under their breath and shaking their head around in excruciating pain. Oddly enough, they both held such respect for each other that they forgot about who was the alpha male and were happy to share the title in front of all the bar patrons. To this day, I'll never forget the image of 2 tough guys with tears streaming down their face hugging and congratulating each other on a job well done.
I like to think we broke down cultural borders that day and brought the world a little closer together...
Have you got any great cultural exchanges? Please comment.