Iposted this on another forum, but thought you guys would get a kick out of it.
On Christmas day, 2005 while working in China, I was kinda down in the dumps since Christmas in China has about as much meaning as the 4th of July in Dubai. So my mother in law decided to make me the old family recipe – snake wine. Its tonic that is consumed in small quantities. It has to be aged for 2 years or they say it can kill ya.
Anyway We went to the stock yards. Me, my wife, mother in law and daughter..What an experience. They had pigs, cats, dogs, horses, chickens, geese and every other thing they eat over here, including snakes. I saw a lady buy a cat. The cat dealer takes the cat out of the cage, whacks it on the head with a stick, and puts in a bag and gives it to the lady. I was speechless.
There were 3 snake dealers. We visited one, but his price was too high, so we went off to the next dealer, and those weren’t the right kind of snakes (they were about 8 feet long, and in a big hole, and looked like pit vipers- copper head looking things). Dealer number 3, didn’t have the right kind of snakes either. Ma Ma was looking for something called "Past The Mountain Snakes."
So we went back to dealer number 1. We agreed on the price and he grabbed a crate, which relieved me, and I thought cool, they are in a crate so maybe they are dead. He pops the lid on the crate and out pop the snakes, and they spread their hoods. I thought hmmmmm, "Past the Mountain Snakes" means cobras. The dealer asked me, “do you want to grab the snakes or do you want me to?” I replied, "hey son, you go right ahead, I will watch".
Well it was the most hilarious thing. I'm watching the guy grab the snakes, my wife , mother in law, daughter are all close behind me. I'd lean in for a closer look (everyone would lean in- in unison). One of the snakes would hiss or spit, and we would all jump back in unison.
The dealer grabs the snakes, one by one and hits their heads on the concrete floor to stun them. I saw one of the snakes next to the guys ankle moving and told my wife, that guy is gonna get bit. My wife replied, “ Oh don’t worry, that guy has killed a lot of snakes. Those snakes are afraid him. I said, "yep, hes gonna be saying that in the ambulance, or somebodies gonna say it at his funeral " .
He breaks the tail and drains out the blood (snake blood spoils the wine). He throws them in a big jar (7 kgs of snakes) and covers them with 10 kgs of rice wine. I notice the 2 biggest snakes are still moving. In the bottle, and say,”hey those 2 aren't dead yet”
The guy replies- "don’t worry they will drown in the wine". . He wraps the jar up in cardboard. We all go back home. A few hours later my wife wants to see the snakes. I say honey, you cant drink the stuff for a year or two, just leave it wrapped up. Well, she was adamant about peeking at the snakes. So I unwrapped the jar, and the two biggest cobras are alive, heads above the wine, banging their heads on the lid trying to get out.
I said "Yikes! The buggers are still alive." I thought hmmmmm, they know I'm the reason they are in that jar. I'm thinking they are gonna escape and bite the crap out of me.
At that point, said photo below was taken, since I know most people ain't gonna believe I got a jar of wine with 4 dead and 2 live cobras in it.
I spent the next few hours shaking that bottle, so the wine went over those 2 snake heads. I didn’t go to sleep, until they were under that wine, motionless for 30 minutes.
That’s how you get a jar of cobra wine.