Ahhhh, another chance to convert some unbelievers, and in China! Bonus! So we convinced the young gentlemen that they should try the Leffe Brune, one of the dandy selections on tap at Piss. Instant converts. Win!
Not only were they impressed with the flavor, but they were also quite surprised by the alcohol content. The 6.5% abv is quite a bit stronger than the watery beers that they had experienced growing up. Throughout the rest of the evening we enjoyed many other fine beers and had a good old time.
This is not the story, however. The real story is that of the fine young men that we enjoyed sharing our expertise and swapping stories. You see these young gentlemen were United States Marines on leave. Hailing from Tennessee and Georgia, these men, stationed in Okinawa, were trying to relax and forget that they were far from home, missing their families and struggling to understand the Chinese culture. Their rules of conduct prevented them from getting too wild, but hey, why not get a buzz and laugh a bit?
The greatest part of travelling is learning about other cultures and sharing stories with people that you are unlikely to ever see again, but who knows, you may make some new friends for life? Who would have thought that the most interesting people that we would meet on our journey would be Americans? Their names and personal stories are not for us to share, because people who join the military do so for their own reasons. An opportunity to go to college using the G.I. Bill? To get away from a looney ex? It doesn't matter. What matters are what these gentlemen represent. Well mannered, respectful and genuine, these excellent young men represent those who understand their role in American military presence. They will do what they need to do if, or when, they are called upon.
While I did not choose to serve in the military, I have great respect for those who have. Gentlemen you have my deepest respect and gratitude and I wish you luck and success in whatever comes next.