augury doggerel

Sunday, May 30, 2004

The Drink

Tonight in the main square a jazz trio backs a woman in tourist-traditional dress who sings Kashubian songs. After them, fireworks and road flares and a pantomime on stilts to celebrate the sea and fishing and Neptune and, it seems, Goldwasser, which is a sort of local vodka supposed to have flakes of real gold in the recipe. Girls in long dresses serve shots to the audience.

On the last tram home, loud drunken teenagers sing of how Jews are the shame of Poland, and they laugh when a gray man in a gray suit falls up the tram steps.

When I get to our block, a police van is circling and a foot patrol shines a light behind homes. I ask about the trouble. The police reassure me that it's only lobuzy, which I have to look up when I get inside. A lobuz, with a diagonal slash through the l, is a bounder, a pickle, an urchin. It is pronounced woe booze.


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