Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Solution -

Unfortunately, there aren't many solutions here, but the costs aren't extraordinarily high either.  Easy excuses, at least for the first time, revolve around bodily illness, one of which I used (I did indeed get sick from all the cold weather).

There were two times during the trip when I privately decided to just have a drink.  The first was after arrival,  at breakfast on the first full day there.  I was communicating solely in Polish, not an easy task, and one that is made harder by multiple factors, because, at least at that breakfast, two of my three companions knew no or very little English. My Polish was good enough to impress them, but not enough to have a conversation of much substance--.  I've  been trying to learn it for a year or so, and cannot understand half of what is said to me, or around me.  So, some questions that I might have asked also might seem like requests.  After having an entertaining and over-exciting communication session with an older gentleman (in his 80s), wherein he advised me to use a particular spread of dull cottage-like cheese combined with a heavy honey on my bread for breakfast, he continued to pile on the honey and cheese to his bread, and encourage me into multiple rounds with him (of honey and cheese).  We continued until the honey came down from the open faced sandwich onto our hands, and had to drink some tea to ameliorate the density of the honey in our throats.  So, after drinking it, I used my teacup and slightly clinked it against his, while saying: "na zdrowie" gently, oh so gently.

At that moment he rushed up and into the other room (something he'd done at least three times to find books and maps of Warsaw), but this time, he came back with a good ole bottle of booze, immediately setting out his fancy (and reserved for special company, I presumed by their location in breakfront of the main room) glasses, and poured a shot sized drink for us all.

Well, well, well.  There I was, shot poured, accepting breakfast suggestions, having a good time, and, judging by the health and vigor of the old man, in good company, available for celebration.  Available for the acceptance of my personhood into a family; even, I dare say, available for a unique and rare type of connection with a unique and rare type of individual, one whose blessing was a great pleasure.

I went to the bathroom then, after my fiance said that I actually was not drinking for a while, that I didn't drink, she said in fact, my shot was taken away by another and replaced with more tea.  When I was in the bathroom, though, I thought that I would go out and have the drink.  Screw it, right?  As I write this now, I realize that I want to drink again, eventually, that I'm biding my time.  If I wasn't, or didn't want to, then I would be okay with the label that I don't drink.  Instead I pull away from it. Perhaps I'm overly concerned with labels, but the point is that I gave up and decided to drink on that day, and that, without my saying it outright, I wasn't actually pressured to drink.  A misunderstanding.

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