Setting Things On Fire

When travelling, a fantastic experience can be had by doing something that would be incredibly mundane at home: going to the supermarket. Despite the age of globalisation that we currently live in, some products never make it very far out of their homeland (sometimes for good reason, too). On a recent trip to Austria, Rin and I stopped in a Salzburg supermarket and, of course, ended up in the booze aisle. It was there that we first saw Baumann’s Gletscher-Eis in all its glory.

Blue and toxic-looking, Gletscher-Eis stands tall.

Blue and toxic-looking, Gletscher-Eis stands tall

Along with a few other assorted miniature bottles of schnapps, we bought big blue as a souvenir of our time in the land of Mozart and singing nuns. How could we resist a spirit containing 50% alcohol by volume which required three minutes spent burning before it became drinkable? When we arrived home from our trip, we promptly found a nice spot for it on the shelf where it could collect dust until we mustered the courage to set it on fire and kick it back.

A few days ago courage came in the form of several glasses of Jameson, so Rin grabbed the video camera and filmed my first true encounter with this formidable Austrian bastard. Please excuse the South Park pyjamas, for the degree to which I was chilling precluded the wearing of proper trousers.

I have at least 75% of the bottle left and, not one to waste intoxicating substances, I’m sure I’ll give it another chance. For take two, I’ll follow the instructions more closely and give it a minimum of 3 minutes’ worth of burn time. I’ll also sip it through a straw since burnt lips aren’t very nice.

You can learn a lot of things about a country by visiting one of its supermarkets. For example, it wasn’t until I first came to Britain that I learned tea could come in boxes of 500 or more bags, or that one needed a choice between 30 different types of marmalade. On a recent trip to Belgium, I was surprised to find that it was cheaper to buy a bottle of Chimay than a Diet Coke. Sadly, I went with the Diet Coke, because whilst drinking on the street is legal in the UK, I wasn’t sure if that was the same case there. I may like foreign supermarkets, but I’m still too much of a pussy to start exploring foreign jails. Maybe I just need another bottle of Jameson.