Imagine Pokemon GO, except that instead of catching Pokemon, you’re performing dares to level up. That’s what happens in the movie, “Nerve.” Of course, the more horrible the dares, the greater the number of points, resulting in that infamous scene in the trailer where the characters are streaking through a boutique
But “Nerve” is, you know, American. So they might spring dares like “eating century egg” which would be vomit-inducing for them, but perfectly normal for us. Especially if it’s in a bowl of porridge (although again, their porridge is actually oatmeal while our porridge is rice-based).
So here are five “Nerve” dares from Southeast Asia that are actually perfectly normal. If any Southeast Asian took part in “Nerve,” they would totally crush it (except for the streaking part).
Vee (Emma Roberts) looks like she’s just eaten a durian in “Nerve.” (Shaw Organisation)
1. Eating durians
The king of the fruits, hailing from Malaysia and Indonesia, is often derided as a pungent smelling goo that’s a foul punishment from the gods, to the point that there are countless YouTube videos showing people who dare to eat durians.
But seriously? The smell is heavenly (although it lingers). The taste is exquisite, like fine brandy for some varieties. It wouldn’t be a dare to durian-lovers, it’d be a reward!
Balut. (Photo: Reuters)
2. Eating balut
Then there’s balut from Philippines, a half-developed bird embryo that’s often eaten in the egg shell.
It’s an embryo, not a bird, so you’re unlikely to see identifiable portions of a bird (like the beak or wings) in the egg itself. Sort of like meat mixed with eggs, balut takes special skill in boiling.
It’s a common street food that’s full of different and delicious flavours and textures, all wrapped up in one small package.
Vee and Ian (Dave Franco) are definitely speaking only English in “Nerve.” (Shaw Organisation)
3. Speaking three languages in one sentence
Notice how the Americans are always marvelling at how we manage to use words from all sorts of language in one sentence and everyone seems to understand what we’re saying?
But it’s not all that unusual. Most of Southeast Asia was colonised by the Europeans, so you’d already have to be able to speak the native language and the language of your colonisers.
All you need to do is add a dialect, English, or another Southeast Asian language of your choice, and you’ll have a wonderful rojak of languages in one sentence.
Definitely not a motorcycle taxi in “Nerve.” (Shaw Organisation)
4. Taking a motorcycle taxi
If you’re just one person, taking an entire car is just not economical to get around.
So a motorcycle taxi is a much cheaper and faster option if you’re going solo. It’s common in Thailand, Philippines, and Indonesia, and you soon get used to riding around without a helmet.
Those motorcyclists are a lot more skilled than you think!
M16s. (Photo: AP)
5. Stripping and assembling a rifle in 5 minutes
And finally, if you’re from Singapore or Thailand, you’ll be conscripted at some point (unless you’re female).
Part of being a soldier entails knowing your rifle inside out, meaning you can take it apart and rebuild it in just a matter of minutes.
Others might think it’s an amazing feat, but when the punishment for being too slow is another 50 push-ups, you learn to get quick at it!
So what other perfectly normal Southeast Asian practices would be terrifying dares for a game of “Nerve?” Tell us your suggestions and maybe we’ll start a Kickstarter for an Asian version of “Nerve!”
Marcus Goh is a Singapore television scriptwriter. He’s also a Transformers enthusiast and avid pop culture scholar. He Tweets/Instagrams at Optimarcus and writes at marcusgohmarcusgoh.com. The views expressed are his own.