In the spirit of adventure, I picked up some “chips” from a local, ummm, bodega; my thought being that perhaps I’d stumble on some amazing Taiwanese delicacy that I couldn’t live without. They wouldn’t import it into the U.S., so I’d have to set up a complex smuggling system based on the barter system and old Comanche code. Many men would die that summer, but it would be worth it… it would be worth it.

At any rate, halfway through it I found a bag of silica. As in the stuff They put in packaging to keep moisture from accumulating. Up until this point I have only encountered silica in shipments, or industrial floor wax boxes. Not food. Not ever food, and especially not in food like it’s some kind of Cracker Jack prize (which, by the way, I embarrassingly thought it was, at first. “Oooh, cool!” I though. “Some sort of pretty beads or something. What an interesting memento from The Orient I will have to show the people back home.” [muted trombone plays:] wah-waaaah).

At this point, I got to thinking: I don’t know the customs here, and I certainly can’t read the language. Who knows what they sell among the imported Doritos and Taiwanese Snickers bars. Maybe I’m eating some sort of strange super-solvent or (Taiwanese) rat poison. I mean, look at the packaging, this could be anything.

I am cautiously optimistic, however, that it was indeed food, as 3 hours later I still have my vision and most of motor functions. As far as being so good that I can’t live without it, though: yeah… no.

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