First Square in Taichung City is where the SE Asian factory workers go to unwind after a week of hard, underappreciated work. Some of them, mostly Thais and Cambodians choose to spend their one, precious, weekly day off at this unnamed club, ominously referred to as “the 12th floor”.
A word of warning before embarking on this adventure yourself: think of F-12 or and other Thai club as “the bad part of town”. Taiwan is a very safe country but as soon as you step in here you are, for all intents and purposes, in Thailand. Thai men have a reputation for getting drunk and getting into fights, especially with any “farang” audacious enough to step onto their turf. Many Thai clubs don’t allow Whitey inside for this very reason. It is advisable that you go in groups of men you trust to watch your 6 and throw down on your behalf if necessary. For you lone wolves, I recommend the Filipino club on the 7th floor. Filipinos are more friendly, less likely to take you to Pound Town at the slightest, unintentional provocation and even speak English! I go to F-12 on my only so that I have a story to tell. I risk this ghetto-stomping for you, my dear readers!
Upon entering the club, I went to the bar and tearing my eyes away from the advertisements for Red Horse and Leo beer, reluctantly asked for a water. Gotta keep my wits about me in here! With this poor substitute in hand, I sat down to do some girl watching and survey the scene. It would do no good to grab someones girl for a dance and get Ong-Bak’ed by a pissed off Thai and his buddies, so I let discretion be the better part of valor and played it cool.
Eventually confident that a group of 5 girls dancing their asses off on the floor were not yet spoken for, I made my move. Clearly they were drunk because they didn’t immediately laugh me out of the club for my white boy dance moves. Not long into this epic example of How not to Dance, The Lurker showed up. The Lurker was a conspicuously drunk Thai with an unfocused gaze and an unhealthy interest in me. He made a halfhearted attempt to dance with the girls but mostly just seemed to watch me out of the corner of his eye. I was more than willing, rather than try to Bruce Lee my way out of a 10-on-1, to let him jump in, grab a girl and get rejected like the dweeb that he surely is, but he seemed more focused on my dancing with the girls rather than the girls themselves. Trouble was a-brewin’!
Instead of this story leading to me throwing down and adding to the list of Rocky’s Asian (mis)Adventures, a Cambodian girl grabbed my wrist and pulled me over to dance with her and her friend (1st picture). Relived, I imposed my shitty dancing on her instead. She told me a little about herself in excellent Chinese. I reciprocated in my less than excellent Chinese.
Enter the One Man Gay Pride Parade. This dude, who Cambodian Girl explained is her little brother, appeared in a flash of flair and fabulous attitude then asked HER if he could dance with ME. Apparently she answered in the affirmative because I soon had to swat his hands off of me. Dancing is ok but I draw the line at intimate contact. OMGPP was cool about it and toned it down. I kept dancing with his sister and tolerated dancing with him a bit too. Everybody was happy.
My stomach started grumbling and it didn’t seem likely that things with this girl were going to escalate much within the day (this isn’t a PUA blog anyways) so I asked for a photo and excused myself. She, herself, suggested she and her friends join me for dinner. Who am I to refuse? She recommended a Thai restaurant on the 3rd floor of the same building, rounded up her equally cute friend and what seemed to be her friends Filipino boyfriend and we headed downstairs together.
I ordered Pad Thai and papaya salad and asked the cook to make it “foreigner level spicy”. The cook must have misheard me because he made it “give a dragon painful diarrhea spicy” and set it before me. Even the Cambodian girls would barely touch it!
We got to know each other better and they told me that they had both lived in Taiwan for over 10 years. Even arriving young, that makes them middle-aged. You wouldn’t be able to tell just by looking at them! Both of them drive and one has a car. This is rare for Western foreigners and doubly so for SE Asians. When I mentioned Xian Nv Waterfall, she suggested that we drive up there together sometime (possibly a future post!)
After dinner, we said our goodbyes and exchanged contact info. I headed up to Beitun to pick up heavy things and everyone else presumably went home to sleep. I expect I will be seeing the 3 of them again soon.
F-12 as a venue is a run down shit hole, but like most places, it’s the people that make or break it. There is no shortage of: fools, dweebs, fucktards and haters, but if you can navigate your way through this minefield of human filth, there are some great people that can scarcely be encountered elsewhere (go ahead and tell me where else I can meet Thais or Cambodians in Taiwan). If you go with the intention of getting hammered, you are better off drinking where you are less likely to get pick pocketed or gang-beaten. If you are looking to pull, you are far better off on the 7th floor or better yet, signing up for Tinder. If you are looking for a unique experience, grab a trusted bro or two and head on up.