I am so disappointed in myself. I completely forgot about an amusing cross culture experience I had this past Saturday. My shoddy memory was jogged last night while I was pouring a glass of scotch. As the picture would indicate this story is about the limitless power of rakija and its reputation as a unifying force. Haven’t we all joined in song over a couple tasty sips? Haven’t we all united our laughter into one while watching a dear friend fall off the front stoop? Haven’t we all made an ass of ourself at Slava? Yes. A thousand times yes!!
Last Saturday I had some old friends from high school over. At one time they were close, trusted friends. The kind of friends you have when you are 17, the kind that know more about you than anyone should. Over the years we have kept in touch, but not as well as any of us would like. Recently though we have re-connected thanks in no small part to my friend Chad’s new fiancée who is applying the pressure. Chad, Eric, and Adam came over to my place with the intention of watching an old video of us playing high school football. Now, before you scoff, the idea was that we would get all boozed up, then sit down to watch this thing and laugh at each other getting knocked around. We had the best of intentions! It wasn’t to relive past glory, it was to bust balls! Harmless!
They brought over a couple cases of beer and a bottle of Jager and the booze started going down. Fast. The Jager made its appearance early in the night, we took down the bottle in four Jager-bombs. These guys drink professionally and the only thing that has changed, in them, since high school, is their tolerance. It’s something to marvel at. While we were sitting at the table I get into the liquor cabinet and start pulling out bottles. I bought something in Belgium, I still don’t know what it is, but it’s brown, and like I always say “if it’s brown, drink it down.” That was drunk. Brought out the scotch. That was drunk. Then I decided it was time for rakija. I reached into the back and pulled out a tall plastic bottle with a fancy blue label that said “voda”. My buddies instantly knew what the urine colored liquid inside was, and they simultaneously said “Hell no!” They became fast friends with rakija at my wedding and they had not forgotten the burning trachea. “But it came from Yugo.” I told them, “private reserve moonshine, so you know it’s good”. They bought it! Suckers! I poured some shots and they shot it. Chad got about halfway through his shot when he shoved back his chair and made a dash for the kitchen sink.
Thankfully he made it. He then puked all over the place like a sorority girl during homecoming. The rest of us laughed and howled and called his sexuality into question. It was awesome.
Rakija – connecting people.