[Based on the author’s honest observations on the Polish drinking culture, as a foreigner. Doesn’t necessarily apply to all foreigners or Poles.]
Let’s start off with a joke:
Four guys, a Polish, a Czech, a Russian and a German are sitting on a sleigh pulled by horses through the middle of nowhere. Their only possession is a bottle of good vodka. Then, all of sudden they hear wolves howling. The German guy steps up first and says: “I am not afraid of wolves, I will fight them”. He jumps up the sleigh and fights and fights but the wolves are too many and he gets eaten alive. Now, the Russian jumps off but he is also eaten alive. In the sleigh, the Czech looks at the Pole and says “What now man?”. The Polish takes his gun and shoots all the wolves and sits back down. The confused Czech is silent for a minute and he asks, “man, why didn’t you do this before?”And the Polish replies, “Are you kidding me dude? You want to share a bottle of vodka with 4 guys?”
Poles have the stomach for the strongest of alcohol, and when us foreigners give in to the “Come on, just one shot!”, we end up hugging the toilet seat for the next 24 hours. I have few examples to make my point.
It was New Year’s eve, and with 5 Poles, we started drinking. Started off with a few vodka shots which kicked in after a little while. I was more used to screwdrivers and kossu batteries (Koskenkorva is famous Finnish vodka) in Finland. But I decided to take a few shots anyway, after all it was New Year’s! After about 4 or 5 neat shots, I nearly blanked out. The next thing I know my Pole friends are helping me to bed. The next morning I came to know they drank about 5 more rounds and went home, as if they had just had ten glasses of coca-cola.
I have tried the famous more than 70% home-made liquors here and boy, were they strong. Poles seem to love their alcohol. Especially the vodka. I have been amazed at how once in an abroad trip, the Poles ate nothing at the restaurant but vodkas and beers.
Last night at the company dinner, it was the same story. It started off with beer. I seem to always forget that I don’t have the strong stomach for alcohol like the Poles when I am in their company. Naturally after two shots of strong liquor, I was close to passing out. The rest looked seemingly normal, naturally.
If Poles invite you to a drinking game/party, don’t give in! It’s a trap! Especially if you’re a tiny Asian girl like me 😀