Blogger Grill Party: The Untold Story

Photos by MJ Klein – Hangover by Sang Som Royal Thai Rum

I had a fabulous weekend. I met lots of new friends and hung out with them and old friends too. I stuffed my face, drank a lot of booze, sang and played guitar. No, where else could that happen except at a grill party in Hukou at Shao-hui’s? Oh, yeah, we did that in Miaoli too! Seems like we’ve been partying a lot lately. Why not? We’re lucky enough to be living in Taiwan!

This bowl of meat is what all the fuss was about. Tons of ginger, garlic, lemongrass, a couple of bay leaves and some other stuff. Yeah, it doesn’t look like much now, but when you put it on the grill….


In the afternoon, David Reid (L) and Todd Alperovitz came over right around 15:00. David watched as Todd and I broke out the rum and started talking Nikon tech gear. Just about when I had these 2 gentlemen throughly bored….

Michael Turton (L) and Mark Foreman showed up. Mark (not your best photo, sorry man) was great company, talking about guitar and studio stuff like I haven’t been able to for years. Cool hang. We drank until darkness approached. It’s what men do.

We headed down to Shao-hui’s place. While I was getting the charcoal going and setting things up, I didn’t take that many photos. Including my wife, Hui-chen it was just the 6 of us at the beginning.

But then, (L to R seated at the table) David Edwards, John and Carrie, (Michael and Todd already in attendance), and Catherine showed up! I had never met these people before, although from reading their blogs I certainly knew who they were. Here we see Michael and Carrie talking for the first time.

“So, who do you think has the best blog, Michael?” The conversation was lively with lots of interesting topics being discussed in English and Chinese.

By now the food was coming along well on the grill. I blogged on the food here.

Hui-chen really does enjoy doing the grilling. In fact I wasn’t able to wrestle the tongs from her grasp for the entire evening.

For me personally, it was great seeing these people meet for the first time and have so many interesting things to talk about, and cool experiences to share.

As it turns out, David (blue shirt) and Michael (gray shirt) have a lot of past common experiences. Both men were Peace Corps volunteers, and grew up near the same area. Small world.

Michael Turton telling jokes in Chinese, holding is audience totally captive.

Michael is in every shot of every table because (like me) he likes to mingle with everyone. Now by this point, blogger Andres (seated on the green stool, center) had arrived with his wife Karen, cousin Becky and friend Jerry (back to camera). You no doubt recall them from my post on the fun weekend we had in Miaoli.

The Sang Som Royal Thai rum was a-flowing that night! Andres and Jerry were mixing it with cola, like I was.

While Andres stepped into the store beside Shao-hui’s, this Thai monk walked by, adding to the surreal atmosphere. I had never seen a Thai monk in Taiwan before, and certainly never in Hukou. So, we got, what? 15 bloggers and a Thai monk on this block?

A quick shot of some of the food.

I wasn’t the only one taking photos of the food!

After about 6 KG of grilled meat, numerous Thai dishes, Asahi beer and Sang Som, the conversation carried the evening as the eating slowed. It was really great.

Eventually everyone moved inside for karaoke! In this shot, everyone is checking out the books for the songs they want.

Carrie, great looks, great voice and not shy led the evening off with her professionally honed singing skills. Good call.

It really is true that there are some songs you just can’t sing sitting down….

I think Andres likes the Thai rum.

Man, this was great! Jerry jumped up, and he and Carrie did a duet together!

For some reason, I kept thinking “John Travola and Olivia Newton John” but I cannot understand why.

And this is your brain on Thai rum.

By the time we all felt like Andres, we decided to head back to our house and up to the roof. I played some drunken 12-string renditions of Led Zeppelin songs, and hence this was the only shot that I took up on the roof.

Finally, it was time for everyone to go. People were milling about in the road in front of our home, not really wanting to leave. Finally though, my wife called a taxi and they somehow crammed 5 people in it, in addition to the driver. John, I don’t know how you did it man….

For those of you who didn’t stay over (David Reid did) we showed him around Hukou the next day.

Hui-chen was showing us how to use some of the appointments of the temple. There was a large garden next to this temple and we walked around there for awhile and then headed over to the Hukou Old Street area.

Not quite as large or interesting as Dasi, but fun for an hour. Hui-chen and David are standing near what was once and old railroad stop. The tracks embedded in the road represent where the rails used to be. It’s all reproduction stuff, but at least the locals made an attempt and preserving some kind of history.

The last photo of the post is our lunch in Jubei. I’m not going to rub it in any further!

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  1. Looks like someone’s been busy migrating domains!

    Thanks for being a great host MJ! The food was spectacular!

  2. Great photos and a great report. Looks like it was a fantastic evening, pity that I couldn’t join all of you.

    The Thai monk is cool – the only time I’ve seen Thai monks in Taiwan was at the Baima temple in Yunlin county. The Baima temple is actually a Tibetan temple (the biggest Tibetan temple in Taiwan) and it’s in the middle of nowhere.

    And I love the new look the site has. The layout is excellent.

  3. It was our pleasure Todd. you are welcome anytime. it’s a hard life in this neighborhood you know.

    yeah i registered the domain this morning about 11 am and i had the blog migrated over a few hours later. the big hit is that i don’t know squat about WordPress. i am learning. i think my feedburner feed is borked though. gonna have to spend time with it tomorrow.

    Craig, there will be a next time for sure and your name is already on the list! very interesting info about the Thai monk. i mean, there were were, for the most part, foreigners and for the most part all speaking in English at least part of the time, in the small town where people drop their jaw seeing only me, and then, this Thai monk walks by. it was cool/strange!

    i’m still tweaking the layout. i want to do something with the header image, but thanks for the positive vote on the new platform.

  4. mj, great layout and cool new domain. i’ve been thinking about getting my own domain, but just can’t settle on a name yet and for the names i like i can’t settle on an suffix.
    well, i’ve said it to you a few times already but thanks again for the great time and everything. we need to do it again soon.

  5. MJ. As always. A great post with fantastic pictures. You have some really good people around you. I hope to one day head that way for a holiday and meet you in person and enjoy one of the tours and also a grill party.

    Oh, and also some rum playing guitar solos as well.


  6. Whoo nice new domain MJ and great post. Yeah was great times and nice meeti8ng a bunch of people some new and some who I only knew virtually. I’ll be audio podcasting on the meetup too. I’ve got quite a bit of wordpress experience if you ever need some help.

  7. David, trust me, i was dead tired yesterday, lol!

    Andres, just go for it man! is the best service as they even can sell .tw domains. no matter what name you choose, can redirect your traffic to the new domain (as in this case).

    Brunty, yes i do have some great people with whom to associate. you would be welcome to visit Taiwan of course and have photos of you making the rest of the world envious! haha next time i go back to Thailand i’m gonna stop by Ubon on my way to Khonkaen! btw, i’ve been occupied for the last several days but still reading your blog via RSS feed. your last posts were brilliant and i have yet to comment on them. (everyone take a look:

    Sandy, thanks! i hope to make you hungry more often! in a couple of weeks i’ll have the Asian Food Blog migrated over too. i plan on using sub-domains, like for example. thanks for reading and for your comments!

    Mark, thanks. everyone has commented to me personally on what an interesting and informative person you are. my wife very much appreciated your formidable Chinese skills at explaining the few things she didn’t understand during our English conversation. and, yeah i’m gonna be asking you some WP questions soon!

  8. Thx for the kind words and dang those dumplings look good-only one of my favorite foods. Will definitely need to reschedule trip there 🙂

  9. Hey MJ!
    Thanks a million for allowing us to take part in the party, it was a lot of fun. I certainly hope you will include us in any future get-togethers. Catherine and I had a good time. You were an excellent host.


    p.s. I think your “prototype” vegetable dish was a winner!…lol

  10. David, you got my #, so just give us a call sometime if you have a hunger for some Thai food. we’re there most any night so just come on down! we’re also up north on occasion and we’d like to find out some cool places you know in Taipei too.

    that’s good news about the vegetable dish. i think i’m ready to take it to the next level of development.


  11. Songs Karaoke » What American Idol Has to Do With The Latest Karaoke Craze…/ what does this have to do with my blog? nothing! you are banned.

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