Tollwood, [Not] Getting Drunk, and More Damn Staring: Sistah Vegan in Europe Part III

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Breeze Harper at Tollwood. December 22, 2012.

Don’t let the picture of me smiling fool you. I’m at Tollwood, the ginormous Christmas Market in München  Germany. I have not had alcohol since 2007, because I am usually pregnant or nursing. And when I did drink, it was once a year on my birthday….

…But here I am, trying to stomach the smell of traditional hot wine drink with spices called Glühwein. The aroma alone was literally making me feel nauseous. Every time I smell it, I quiver with chills. But hey, I’m in the Fatherland, so when in Rome….

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3 German bartenders who cheerfully sold me this “elixir of life!”

Um, this drink does not taste good. I had one cup and I didn’t get drunk. Didn’t even get a buzz…just wanted to vomit. And seriously, don’t take what I say too serious. Once again, remember: You’re talking to someone who hasn’t had a drink since 2007. My concept of ‘drinking’ involves raw kale blended with water and Spirulina. Generally, I’m so sensitive to alcohol that if you said “Nyquil,” I will just pass out drunk….On a slightly different note….

Another “Look, a Negro”! experience!!!

Inside one of the eatery tents, 3 young women stared at me forever and whispered when I passed by. My friend was like, “Wow, that’s weird. Why are they staring at you like that?” He then decided to go back and ask the girls, but they just giggled and pretended to be too shy to respond.

Okay blog followers, next time this happens, I am whipping out my camera and will video record me asking why folk are staring at me. Seriously, we need answers! It’s a mystery I will solve before I head back to Berkeley CA!

11 thoughts on “Tollwood, [Not] Getting Drunk, and More Damn Staring: Sistah Vegan in Europe Part III

  1. I read that if alcohol makes you nauseous, sleepy, sick in any way, it is telling ou that you have an allergy to whatever grain the drink is derived from. My clinical ecology MD told the story of a patient, recovering alcoholic, who had, also been diagnosed as allergic to a grain–don’t recall if it was wheat, corn, or what. The man was being tested in office with a sublingual dose of the grain. The nurse did not know his allergy. After the patient left, Dr. Randolph looked at his chart and remembered the allergy. He called the man’s wife, telling her to be on watch for him, and to check bars if he was late.

    The next morning the guy called the office, asking what test he had had. He had awakened with the worst hangover of his life, and he had not stopped at a bar.

    When I was hospitalized for testing in 1980 one patient was suing her dentist for damage from surgery. After eating orange for breakfast the pain attacked. She said it was the identical pain for which she was suing the dentist. She was going to apologize and drop the suit.

    Testing suspected substances in isolation (after cleansing the gastro-intestinal tract, allergic responses surface. The physician who coined the word “allergy,” defined it as “a changed or altered response,” so a behavioral change=the “addiction.”

    1. Interestingly, I can’t even handle the organic herbal tinctures they sell on the market using even organic grain alcohol. I always have to fine a glycerite. I have never tried sake. I know Kombucha makes me incredibly ill as well. I have to say I don’t mind, as I actually don’t like the smell or taste of alcohol to begin with, so it’s not so tragic that I can’t drink Glühwein. :-)

      1. You sound like a classic test-case for the disease/addition. There are four stages (if I recall correctly.) The person continues to “force” the substance, becomes acclimated to the substance, begins to like it, consumes, more and eventually becomes addicted. This is the body’s normal, expected, response.

        I recall high school friends who were sick with their first drinks, were persuaded to ‘”grow-up,” forced themselves to tolerate, (hold their liquor) and were stone alcoholics in their middle years. I went to high school reunion to see one of the cutest girls with her fifth on the picnic table, and totally wasted. It has happened enough in my life, family and friends, until I absolutely hate-fear alcohol–any mind altering substance.

        Some individuals and groups have a genetically developed high tolerance–like indigenous to peyote, that they used only in ceremonies for centuries. I told my sons that three groups have low tolerance for alcohol, Africans, Irish and Native Americans—and they are all three, so–as my father liked to say, “Govern yourself accordingly.” He, also said, “All things in moderation.” Ann addictive bio-chemical system is unable to manage “moderation. Compulsion-obsession is the mode.

  2. Why are you there? It does not sound like any place I would waste my time or money on…and oh..the reason they are staring …you know the the reason why..it is in their DNA..This is GERMANY

    1. Why am I at Tollwood or in Munich? In Germany because that’s where my inlaws live. But I’m not angry or anything. the post was written in the tone of humor. It’s not like I don’t get stared at in USA when I’m in mostly white areas. I’m not surprised! Same ole same ole.

      1. Exactly!!..but you are visiting your inlaws so I now understand why you are in a place where you are not really welcomed…I hope your inlaws relocate to a more receptive locale..Peace 2013

      2. Andrel, I understand your focus on me not feeling as comfortable or ‘at home’ as I should be allowed to, in predominantly white spaces, but in my opinion, my in-laws shouldn’t have to move anywhere for me (or anyone else who doesn’t look like the ‘tribe’ of a particular region) to feel ‘at home.’ I would like to see that my in laws ‘stay’ and that Germany ‘move’ its white collective conscious more towards a universal love, ‘human connection’, and understanding of all people who enter their [socially constructed] borders.

        I am hopeful. The other day, while waiting for the subway train, I saw an ad on one of the many digital screen they have on the walls. It showed a ‘man of color’ accidently bumping into someone at a biergarten, then tripping and accidently touching the shoulder of a white woman sitting down. The white man across from her become very angry and violent that this ‘brown’ man touched her, grabs that man, and is about to beat him up. The images freezes and then pans out to show that all of Germant is watching and will NOT tolerate this racialized and violent response to the this ‘brown’ man’s sincere mistake.

        I didn’t know this was going on until my husband translated the captions for me.

        Has anyone else seen these ads?

    2. Despite being stared at, I enjoy many aspects of munchen like the amazing food options and beautiful architecture. Love the train ride to Austria, the landscapes. I need to reiterate that I get stared at and feel ‘out of place’ in many places in my home land of USA. It isn’t just Germany. But, I still find a way to enjoy and thrive while still pointing out race and whiteness problems .

      1. I hope this doesn’t get too long, as is my style:
        Tonight, I watched the 2013 annual Vienna Philharmonic Strauss concert from Vienna, as I have done for some years. I will not apologize for loving the music that I’ve heard since birth–European music. The “race”conumdrum defines and confines life as an African descended person with such force that the meaning of life, itself, is confounded and ludicrous. Most educated people accept the terms “nature and nurture.” In some places it is thought that a person is 100% nature. contemporary studies accept the role of nurture, what we learn once born. Tonight I watched the program with a different vision than before. For years the lack of women in the symphony was an obvious annoyance. I made no special notice of the lack of “blacks.” The ability of Austrian’s to play their music was accepted–although when I was in Vienna I heard some of the worse played “Viennese waltzes” in my life (The bands that play every night for tourists. Yuck.) Tonight, I heard the usually hackneyed “Blue Danube” performed more beautifully than ever. Lead by Welser-Most, who looks like a Vienna Choir Boy, still. And there seem to be about half-a-dozen women in the orchestra, now.

        Scanning the audience I saw a number of Asians, some in “national dress.” I searched for an African face in vain. There may have been a few, for the hall is large, and the cameras did not “pan” everywhere.

        What I did notice was an Asian male ballet dancer among the six/eight soloists . I noted, also, what I will call racism. The Asian was the only male to wear a period (17th-18th century) blond wig, while the Europeans were seen in all their brunette glory, including dark beards. The Asian, also had no closeups as did the three other males. Obviously he is good, or he would not be a soloist. I’ve noted this kind of subtle racism in commercials. Right.

        Okay, enough. You get the point.

        Having recently had DNA testing, verifying my genetic trek of 1-2 million years: Male heritage: East Africa>>India>>Central Europe>> Germany>>Britain>>North America…, and knowing that every person in that auditorium– has a similar pattern–ALL originating in Africa–I was able to settle and enjoy the Danube encore. We are all tribal, and until we recognize the tribe “homo sapiens sapiens we are no what we pretend to be.

        Too, I remember reading that the Danube is no longer beautiful, blue with ducks and silver clouds. It is an industrialized part of the mess humans have made of most of the planet.

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