May 20, 2014: I'll Have What She's Having

We did it! We made it to Poland in one piece. Now, we reside just outside of the park surrounding Old Town in Krakow.

On our first full day here, we wandered around the touristy section of Old Town, getting a feel for the place. It was pleasantly warm, much like July in Victoria. After an hour or so of gawking, we decided it was time to try out one of the bars. After all, it was a hot Monday afternoon a little before 2pm. We wandered away from the main market in Old Town, away from the tourist traps, to find ourselves a quiet place to get a drink.

We ended up stumbling upon a little place called BaniaLuka. A medium sized bar fronted with floor to ceiling windows and a small patio space out front. The bar was dim and cool inside, and practically deserted.

We stepped up to the bar and Adam attempted to order two beer and two orders of perogies in Polish, but lost his nerve when the short blond server asked, in perfect English, "meat or cheese?"

After finishing our order in English and embarassed by our tiny vocabularies, we retreated to the window facing counter to people watch, pints in hand.

As we drank, and eventually ate, customers trickled in and out of the bar, and I started to notice something.

"Adam, is it just me, or are all the women on the patio drinking the same thing?" I said, gesturing to the women out the window. They all appeared to be drinking something red tinged and slightly frothy. The only thing that distinguished their drinks from a red ale was the straw sticking out of each glass. I watched as one woman lazily stired her drink with it while she chatted with her friends in the sunshine.

"Yeah. They are," Adam said.

"We should ask," I said. "there's clearly something women here drink in the afternoon that's not beer."

The server came by a few minutes later to clear our plates.

"Excuse me," I said. Our blond server met my gaze, her face slack. I suspect tourists asked her innane questions all the time, like where can I find a tour of the salt mine? Or how far is Auschwitz from here? (They're the two main, and possibly only, big tourist attractions in Krakow). "What are all the women on the patio drinking?"

She cracked a smile. "Beer and juice."

"Oh!" I said. "How would I say that in Polish?"

Her smile crinkled her eyes half closed and she giggled. "Piwo z sokiem," she said. I repeated it a few times, grinning myself, making sure I was saying it right.

"That's it," she said and walked away with our plates.

It turns out that women, in general, tend to drink "beer with juice." Usually it's made with a portion of grenadine syrup in the bottom of the glass, and then topped up with beer.

Sadly, this will probably be something Adam never tries. It's considered a very girly drink, and it would be very emasculating to order one, if you were a man. I can almost understand why, given that Polish beer is much less bitter than any I've had in North America.

Anyone who knows me will probably have noticed I shy away from effeminate drinks, but I'll be damned if I don't try this one out.



Definatly worth a try. Sweet with a hint of currant.