More Eastern European Word Games

Trip Start Jan 31, 1996
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Slovakia  ,
Saturday, August 12, 2000

Ellen and I caught the eastbound train from Prague for the little village of Brusno at the foothills of the Carpathian Mountains. Nary a word of English is spoken in central Slovakia, and Ellen seemed to be related to everyone.

Three days later, after the greetings had died we went on a hiking trip into the High-Tatra Mountains with Jan and Mana, Ellen's cousins. At the end of the day we all settled in for a relaxing evening at a little cabin in the mountains we'd rented. Ellen was taking a shower. Jan and Mana were watching TV when I quietly seated myself on the couch off to the side with a nice cold Pilsner Urquell beer. Mana looked over at me smilingly and said, "Ice beer?"

We'd been tramping through the mountains with these people all day and only smiles had been exchanged. Not a word had been spoken between us. I didn't want to let this chit-chat chance pass. I thought back of my friend Hiro and our debauched dialogue on the Danube. Carefully, I selected my words and sentences.

"No Mana, Pilsner Urquell is a different kind of beer," showing her the bottle, I continued. "This beer is from Plzen in the Czech Republic." Then aimlessly pointing south or maybe east, I said, "One hundred and fifty kilometers northwest - near Germany. Canada makes ice beer. You like ice beer?" all the time using body language for effect.

When I finished speaking, Mana who'd smiled and nodded throughout the entire explanation pointed towards the television and once again said, "Ice beer".
I looked, and on the screen stood the biggest, whitest polar bear I'd ever seen. Smiling, more at myself than at Mana I downed my beer and headed back to the fridge.
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