Sunday, August 06, 2006

Illegal Alcohol

Last night, the three of us went to another party at Mercy Corps, I know, I've been here for two and a half days, and I'm already going to my second party. This one was different, it was smaller, more like a BBQ / dinner party and only foreigners were there (in other words, alcohol).

Alcohol is illegal in Aceh due to sharia (Islamic law), so when we went to the store to get beer to bring to the party, I had to wander in looking lost, then the Chinese shop keeper (only the Chinese here do this) came up to me with a big smile and asked if he could help me. I said, "ahhh..." and looked at Elizabeth with big question mark over my head, where she said "he's the one who can help you" I looked back at the guy and then followed him to a back room where he turned around said "what would you like? Beer, wine?" I replied "Beer" then he continued "oh we have Tiger, Singha and ..." "Singha is fine" then his smile got bigger "oh Singha, is Thai beer, very good beer" He later came back with a box that looked like it was a case of orange juice cans. He carried to the car and then I paid him.

Later at the party I saw others bringing in cases of this "orange juice". The Aussie guy, who the party was being thrown for is quite the BBQ'er, there were five or six chickens on an outdoor rotisserie. There were also steaks; normally I don't eat meat in theses areas, but all the meat was shipped in from Australia and New Zealand, thanks to the "foreigner" grocery store in town.

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