I’ve found myself in the 1. position of wedding guest for 2. strangers 3. times in Taiwan and China – and if tales related by fellow 4. travellers are anything to go by, my experiences aren’t unusual.

I’d been in Taiwan a month and already I was 5. my first wedding. It was in the 6. range where I came upon a 7. valley filled with a 8. crowd of 9. people beneath a 10. or so 11. tents with 12. tables weighed down by dishes too numerous to count. I parked my motorcycle to spy and enjoy the fragrance discreetly.

Seconds later, a man wearing a tuxedo and flip-flops waved a 13. palm at me and shouted something. His 14. was friendly, and my week of Mandarin 101 was enough to clue me in to the meaning of the hand wave, scram in the west but come here in the east.