Kenting is gangster city. Though, then again, all of Taiwan is. A European friend of mine was driving 10 kms an hour past the McDonald’s one day when, out of the blue, an oncoming scooter suddenly weaved into her path and slammed into the front of her car. The driver died at the scene, and the stench of alcohol was overpowering. The passenger wasn’t killed.
Predictably enough, there were no witnesses to the accident that Saturday afternoon on the main drag in Kenting. At the cop shop the mother of the boy, enraged, demanded 500,000 NT. My friend, astonished, said that not only had she done nothing wrong, but her son was clearly drunk. At this the woman screamed bloody murder–first you kill my son, and then you accuse him of being an alcoholic?
Predictably enough, the police shrugged their shoulders, and suggested bargaining down. My friend understood that the police would do nothing, but the mafia would if they didn’t pay up. They got away with a bill of 100,000 for “killing” someone, and had to move from Kenting.
Kenting seems like a nifty Taiwanese version of a surfer fantasy land, but a more apt characterization would be a corrupt to the core country town that just happens to have a beach and lots of KTVs.