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Schnapps, it’s schnapps we had in the pub on Brick Lane, my last evening in London.
Schnapps, Catherine suggested – it’d perhaps make her Swedish boyfriend a little glad that she had schnapps with me that Sunday evening when we got out together leaving him behind in the house.
Strawberry schnapps, I thought would be just as light as the strawberry beer in Liverpool but not quite and now I know why – 40% alcohol! That’s a lot and our schnapps bottle was quite huge. My first schnapps ever. I loved it, the novelty of the first drink in a random, red pub in London but couldn’t quite finish it.
I had forgotten all about this drink and what’s it called until this morning when I read this poem
by Ron Padgett
I look up ahead and see
the trees of Sweden waving at me
Gently they wave their bending heads
The light goes dim above the land
And down below the lights come on
And Swedish people one by one
Come out to shop and say hello
as crisply as a Swedish cracker that
fresh out of the package goes snap.
And soon the air is full of snaps
And schnapps and weimaraners and
me, my various selves united,
for a moment Swedish, a tree myself,
waving and lost among the others.