DANCING WITH THE GREEN FAIRY AFTER MIDNIGHT

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You have to wonder if there isn’t grace in the duality of every adventure: the good and bad, the wild and tame, the sage and silly, the risky and safe, the well-planned and wonky. They are all the same to a traveler who wanders without judgment, without bias, without expectations. But how does one do that? We are only human, we teethe at the breast of our subjectivity. We breathe our limitations: we inhale preconception and preference; we exhale segregation and reprisal.

Some travelers, though, seem to possess a method or skill, or grace: they do not resist the chaos of the corporeal world; they allow their spirit, or a portion of their spirit, to walk out on a balcony at the edge of everything and stand above the mind and the physical universe, almost sacred or spiritual and untainted by what surrounds them. This spirit portion observes from above, while the rest of the traveler—the body, the mind, the backpack—trudges through the joys and traumas of the road. Then the valleys and peaks, the fun and faulty encounters of their life in motion, become one—equal, similar. Like two sides of a coin, the same but different.

Green Fairy - absinthe

In Prague in August, during the height of tourist season, you might feel the need to begin cultivating this little balcony for your spirit. I’m not sure I’ve described it well, but it’s easier to write about than to actually do, and maintain. If you have tried doing this before and slipped backward, you might begin to think that receiving a little help from the Green Fairy may be just what you need.

absinthe bar Prague exterior

On the Old Town side of Charles Bridge, you walk down narrow cobblestone lanes late at night surrounded by a crush of tourists even thicker than daylight hours. You pass the Hemingway Bar, touting a “refined venue for serious cocktails.” But it’s crowded, rowdy, and loud. Perhaps you understand the concept of herding a piece or two of your spirit onto a balcony as an observer and braving all the monkey wrenches in life, but tonight you decide Shakespeare was right: discretion, sometimes, just might be the better part of valor. So you bypass this chaos and head to Absintherie, a small inviting joint specializing in—obviously—absinthe and located just off the tourist routes, serving numerous brands of absinthe and a myriad of absinthe cocktails. The kind of place a Local would frequent to get away from…um…travelers like you.

For decades, absinthe was illegal, a world-wide ban, but the lithe and fair young barmaid—let’s call her Brigita—tells me it was always “available” in the Czech Republic. Now I’m not evaluating here or being cynical, but can we truly believe the words of a 20-something barmaid? Perhaps, she meant it was “always available” during her lifetime? Or maybe, it actually was always available in Prague, illegal-moonshine absinthe smuggled in from Spain? Part of me—the part of me that wishes I’d become a gun runner—wants to believe that illegal absinthe was somehow always available in Prague, that Brigita is correct.

colorful absinthe bottle

I’m not a drinker. But, I’m no tea-totaling abstainer, or judgmental about drinking, you understand; I just never quite acquired a taste for alcohol, especially the hard stuff. On top of that, I’m a lightweight when it comes to holding my liquor—I feel one beer; two beers, and I’m tipsy; three beers, you don’t want me behind the steering wheel while you sit shotgun in our stolen Corvette. Perhaps, it’s that 1/16th alcohol-intolerant Iroquois blood slinking through my veins?

5b-be-trouble_hdr      —Joey Comeau

Yet, I have sat in a room where the ceiling was spinning, or on a beach under a heaving galaxy of stars—I’ve tried stuff, once. Or twice. Like shooters of mescal with a worm in Tijuana (which resulted in being mugged near the torta stand off Calle Benito Juarez at 3am), rum coolers on the island of Terre de Haut (that resulted in a motor scooter and baguette fender bender), pisco sours in Cusco (which resulted in hugging sacred stones and moon howling at Sacsayhuaman), margaritas made with Silver Patron tequila in Mazatlan near Canons surf beach (which resulted in a lost surfboard and, some say, an unwed mother), a cashew feni binge in Goa with a gang of Brazilian coeds in bikinis (which resulted in a chipped tooth and sand in our Schlitz), a debauch of coconut arak on the island of Sulawesi (this resulted in a mind-expanding encounter with dead ancestors of a Toraja tribe, and their water buffalo). Oh, and my very first episode: chugging gin while my high-school buddies chugged beer (which resulted in a half-naked drama of “flashing” through the Harford Drive-in Theater and the first scar on my face). I never developed a passion for beer or wine, but I’ll drink a fine pilsner some times, especially on hot August nights, if the brew is ice cold in a long-neck bottle (or maybe if I’m ever surrounded again by a bevy of Brazilians).

bar with flowers night - Prague

Yet, I know absolutely nothing of absinthe. I have heard the tales, the hype, the rumors: it will give you psychedelic hallucinations, it will heighten your awareness, it will expand your consciousness, it will enhance your artistic talents, it’s an aphrodisiac, it’s addicting, it rots your brain, it’ll rankle your vision, you’ll consort with the Green Fairy. Who wouldn’t want to try a drink like that? And then maybe dance your spirit onto a balcony above the daily grime of dualities.

After the world-wide ban on absinthe in the early 20th century, manufacturers brewed an imitation absinthe, flavored with anise—there would be no mind-expanding side effects from this drink, and most likely, a heavy, sickly hangover. Although licorice has long been one of my favorite flavors, I never considered even trying the fake stuff. It’s just that the real absinthe was illegal, and alluring with all those possibilities of sex and psychedelics and grand poetics and fairy muses. So naturally, I’ve always been curious to try it.

A little too late (I’ll tell you why later), Brigita informs me that a couple centuries ago when it was legal and popular, especially among artists and writers—Picasso, Van Gogh, Hemingway, Baudelaire—absinthe was meant to be sipped as an aperitif before dinner. In those days, drinkers always diluted the absinthe with water, and added sugar to sweeten the bitter taste of the wormwood (a type of sagebrush, for pete’s sake) and its numerous other herbs and botanicals. Perhaps, the idea was to create a more satisfying experience by turning something close to high-octane rocket fuel into a more palatable poison.

7-ritual     Art Nouveau poster for Absinthe Cusenier 1

I sit at my door, smoking a cigarette and sipping my absinthe, and I enjoy every day without a care in the world –Paul Gauguin

There was a certain ritual to the affair, along with some interesting paraphernalia. First, they used various styles of absinthe glasses, most had stems and were marked for proper proportion, or had a reservoir meant to hold precisely one ounce. Also, they employed special spoons—flat, perforated, and notched to secure them while resting on the rim of the glass. A sugar cube was placed on the spoon atop the glass. Then, cold water was slowly drizzled onto the sugar while it dissolved; the prevailing ratio was one ounce of absinthe to maybe 5 ounces of cold water. As the absinthe is sweetened and diluted, it turns a murky, opaque shade of green. This is called la louche, or ladling. Apparently, the slow dripping of the cold water into the glass liberates the essential oils of the various herbs that make absinthe do its bizarro thing to your head.

During the world-wide ban on absinthe, bartenders touting the fake stuff created a “ritual of flames” (ala Sambuca perhaps) where they poured some of the liquor onto the sugar cube and set it on fire, creating a stimulating visual sensation before drinking—who doesn’t love a flame. Even in Prague today, if you wander into a tourist bar or absinthe pub, you’ll see a line of unknowing coeds standing at the bar, the bar tender manifesting their concoctions with pizazz, then lighting them on fire. But no self-respecting absinthe connoisseur would set her drink on fire: this sacrifices the alcohol content; it mitigates the mental effects of the botanical essences; it changes the aroma. Not to mention, murders the Green Fairy.

In the tiny bar Absintherie, the best stuff is 70% alcohol and five times the price of the good stuff, which is also 70%. To compare: Sambuca is 42%, Johnny Walker Black Label 12 year old is 40%, Bacardi Rum is 35%, brandy (the stuff you fire up on cherries jubilee) averages about 45%.

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I peruse the menu. It’s late, I’m tired, and I’m unsure which absinthe to choose—making decisions is not my strong suit even at my mental best—so Brigita suggests I do not go with the King of Spirits Gold, the heartiest and boasting a bloated price tag. She doesn’t like the taste and says it’s over priced, and heavy on the wormwood, which overtly emits its distinctive and brazen bitterness. But if I’m going to try this only once, I want to see what all the fuss is about. I don’t want things spinning in the ceiling or sky, but I do want the best stuff, the best experience; I want to observe my body and mind under the influence of a known disaster. I want to see green fairies spread their wings, I want to feel brain cells wither, I want to feel horny, I want to see my fingers melting, I want to see light bending. But I let Brigita talk me into her favorite brand, Beetle Absinthe—well, she is a lithe and fair young thing, and I’m…well…not and evidently easily persuaded when tired after a day of wandering the hills, bridges, and atavistic alleyways of Prague.

Brigita serves the absinthe to me along with a bottle of water and a glass and spoon. At this time as she pours a bit of water into my water glass, I am still completely clueless about the process of drinking absinthe. I am unaware of the ritual and rigmarole I’ve just told you, which Brigita tells me later—as I said, “a little too late”—when paying the bill. So at this moment, I figure the water she pours (probably a proper proportion to mix) is meant to be drunk as a back, to wash things down. I do not perform the mixing ritual. Or set it on fire.

I think I may possess a bit of an ego, because when I was young and drank other hard liquor, I trained my face not to flinch with the horror that was frolicking inside my mouth. “Drink like a man, like Dirty Harry,” my ego would dictate. When we drank tequila and others rushed for the lemon and salt to kill the taste, I sat with a poker face and slowly reached for the lemon, only because it was expected. Real men don’t need lemons. So I don’t even think of using the water as a back to wash things down here in my booth in Absintherie. And I don’t know enough to move through the ritual. The spoon makes no sense. I move it to one side. And I’m not having coffee, so what’s with the sugar? The water glass and bottle become merely two objects in a poorly-composed still-life photograph on the table before me.

absinthe glass with water bottle

I’m not so naïve that I sling the stuff back like a shot of mescal (as I did in my 20’s and had nothing to lose and was fearless and unstoppable and like a rock rushing against the wind and nothing could harm me, and…OK, dumb). But only a cretan would shoot liquor at 70%. But get this: it turns out, some connoisseurs do drink the stuff neat. So I don’t look completely inappropriate for not mixing the drink.

bar interior Prague

I hold the small glass by its stem and lift it to my nose to test the aroma. This is not Pilsner Urquell nor Chateauneuf-du-Pape nor Kahlua. I take a tiny sip. You know how when you’re driving down the road at 180 miles an hour in a stolen Corvette, and you crash into a brick wall? Yeah, that’s what the first sip of neat 70% Beetle Absinthe feels like as it fries the synapses in your brain. An explosion at ground zero inside your skull just behind your third eye, and blasting back to your crown.

Your eyebrows and hair flash backward in a stiff wind. Your nostrils flare. Your vision slowly disintegrates into the heavy strokes of Van Gogh’s Starry Night. As the flavor and sensations and tingling roil around your palette, this is your first thought: whoa, heavy duty shit here. And my ego is sorry to admit, but my mouth purses into a puckered oval, my jaw drops slightly as both eyebrows rise. Luckily, no one else is nearby to see my facial expression. And my ego gets its macho act together for the second and ensuing sips.

funny lamp with face

Beetle Absinthe, neat, does not taste bad. It doesn’t actually taste much at all, certainly not overpoweringly bitter. There’s too much exploding going down for it to taste like anything besides 101 red hot chili peppers tap dancing in running cleats (not pirouetting in Swan Lake) inside your mouth, forgoing your stomach altogether and boring straight from your tongue into your brain. One good reason to mix it with water. The flavor is more herbal than single malt, more towering inferno than oak cask.

To be honest, after the first sip and its attending shock wave, I don’t mind this stuff at all. I’m actually rather surprised at how much I like it. I am completely alone in one corner of Absintherie, exactly what I desired when I found the place, away from madding Brazilians, and everyone else. If a sliver of your spirit could observe from a balcony, wouldn’t it be interesting to note how one moment you relish braving a beach of Brazilians, and in another moment in time, you can’t be bothered.

absinthe mural green fairy & Van Gogh

I take tiny sips and savour the evolving odd rush, the warped high. I watch people outside wandering past Absintherie, one lady wears stilettos. I stare at the life-sized mural painted on the wall: Van Gogh sits at the bar with a bandaged head and sketches on paper. A black cat sits on the stool next to him. The bartender stands behind a bottle of open absinthe, a glass of the stuff in front of him. Another customer offers Van Gogh’s ear to the Green Fairy who sits on the bar alluringly leggy and green; she seems amused, as though withholding inspiration or about to wreak havoc with a buttload of fairy dust.

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One theory suggests that Van Gogh was high on absinthe the day he sliced off his ear. Another says he was simply barking loony. At one point, I imagine sitting here with these characters near the end of the 19th century, when shaving razors were elegant lethal weapons, or implements of self destruction—before the onslaught of “progress” and when the sun went down, you wound your clocks, you lit your lamps, you fed your horse. And your maid dumped your chamber pot.

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After the first glass, you see things as you wish they were —Oscar Wilde

I lose track of time. Perhaps an hour later, I’m still staring at the mural, sipping, perhaps teetering on the ledge of someone else’s balcony? And I begin to understand why people become addicted to something as powerful as this. But some of the rumors you hear are wrong. I see no hallucinations (well, besides the cat in the mural who climbs off the bar stool and sashays over to my table, purring like a bullet). My skin does not melt. Light does not bend. Nobody gets horny.

But the rumor about absinthe raising your consciousness might be true. I believe I see things more clearly now. I believe I could write a poem, paint the sky. I believe I now understand why man is so clearly unforgiving to the earth, and why a god is needed, and why even though some followers claim their god is merciful, here on the physical plane, perhaps no god can be merely merciful because there are two sides to everything here. I imagine at this moment, I have maneuvered a small piece of spirit onto the balcony at the edge of myself and am simply observing the physical realm. But perhaps ­­all that may just be the absinthe talking? But then again …wait… that’s the point, isn’t it? So…maybe we should just discount everything I’ve written in this paragraph.

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But I do believe the bit about absinthe affecting your vision is real. When you finish drinking your Beetle and pay Brigita (and finally learn the mixing ritual) and begin walking your final steps back to your airbnb apartment, you imagine seeing people with surprised faces under lamplight, white elephants frolicking with porcelain dinnerware, and red lips kissing Gucci handbags (or is it Louis Vuitton?).

And trees look like you wandered right into a Van Gogh painting, which makes you wonder if Van Gogh was actually a genius, as some say, or merely painting precisely what he saw on an absinthe buzz below the edge of his own private balcony.

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Got tight on absinthe last night. Did knife tricks – Ernest Hemingway

_____________________________________

See previous posts on Prague here:

Strolling Prague: Part II

Strolling Prague: Part I

Terezin

Lonely Planet

Find more Lucile’s Photo Rehab: #Photo Rehab

See more DP Discover Challenge here: Mixing Media

Photo credits:

1 Cusenier Ritual Poster: AllPosters

2 Abu Dhabi Weekly

 3   Forest and Baby painting courtesy: 8 Point Art Café, Kollam, Kerala

222 comments

  1. Badfish, no wonder they called you the golden-haired son of the blogging gods, blogging royalty ( okay just a prince) and all the other epithets. My goodness Mr Fish, you have outdone yourself, again. ( wondering how many times one single person can outdo themselves, anyhow.)

    The first paragraph: pure brilliance. The second paragraph, more brilliance, inviting rereading, and rereading, and rereading. ( should i mention i live most of my life as the spirit on the balcony? no, okay, take it as unsaid). then, what can one do? ones lost in a badfish post where words are minor miracles and promises of green fairies…. well, they promise.

    then theres the meeting with the ancestors and their buffalo, a stray hemingway or three, and van gogh. So THAT was his secret? My oh my. Are you going back to Prague just to drink this stuff properly?

    I will forgive you for never quite channeling Kafka, which is probably a blessing anyhow.

    This is blogging brilliance. If you dont mind me saying so.
    Bring a Green Fairy over to Table 3, by the window.
    Make that two, I’ll wait for Lucille to arrive.🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hey BF,
    I love this post! Your writing is superb, and I was glued the whole time. Your descriptions are marvelous, like how you felt at the first sip. Then the face lamp! Haha! I have always been curious about absinthe. That whole time period and all the artists that drank it. The Oscar Wilde quote. It has all held sort of a romantic and curious place in my head. All the craziness that was derived from it. I too was disappointed when I found out it was now fake. But to hear you tell it, it still has the unique conquer the world aspect, if not the hallucinogenic, green fairy part….which I would like to experience.
    Thank you for this post. You have taken us through an experience that I have always wanted to know.
    Good writing, Mr. Fish.
    Peace and hallucinations,
    Mary

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mary, I know…I love that lamp. I thought about buying it, but where to put it!! Yeah, and that time period holds something in my mind, I don’t know why, but I think I would have liked living in those days…or maybe I did! They actually legalized the real stuff…the stuff I drank was the real stuff. They decided it wasn’t the herbs that was the problem, but that people drank too much of it, so now it’s legal!!
      Thanks so much and this is now my new closing phrase: “peace and hallucinations”!! LOVE IT…

      Like

  3. This is by far the vividmost account of the green fairy effect. And, I’m immensely relieved that you didn’t go for the priciest stuff. It wouldn’t suit my mental image of you. Cin cin into new victories then! (In Slovenia, they make schnapps out of that little black-yellow forest fellow.)

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  4. Well done friend! Did the green fairy go home with you? Never mind. Gentlemen don’t tell.

    Thanks for the laugh and teaching me something at the same time. Reminds me of my first time with moonshine. Absinthe seems so much more romantic though the way you right it…

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  5. Amazing! This is such a detailed account, as if made with perfect intricate craftsmanship: The delight of Absinthe, a little bit of Van Gogh, and exploring the physical world from the spiritual realm…..too good!

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  6. An intoxicating post. I’m not a big drinker either but, like you, I’ve experienced the hilarious (in hindsight) results of a few (or even just one) too many on occasion over the years. But it’s this I am looking for: “After the first glass, you see things as you wish they were.” That right there is my balcony – that coveted vantage point reached after just one single, good drink – but my balcony never seems to have rails, so I either topple off or, more often, just sit down against the wall and retreat back to sanity and clarity and inspirationlessness. To balance there forever would be sublime. Absinthe is on my list – thanks for the preview!

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    • Lex…yeah, I think most of us have had one too many and then looked back and laughed!! And I also think if you get yourself out there on that balcony, most of them don’t have guard rails, and we all fall off at some point. I’m not going to try absinthe again, though, I think it just might be addicting…and my balcony is very narrow, and I think it even has a slight slant to it, thorns and brambles growing below…

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I was okay. Really! Until I saw THE LAMP! It, along with your reaction to the drink, TOTALLY undid me! OML! To hell with the drink! I want that lamp! 😀 I fell in love with your second paragraph and the spell was on me for the who piece. That whole idea of getting outside of yourself is something Plato (the younger) and I talk a lot about. I think this is one of my favorite things you’ve written. What an armchair adventure. LOVED IT!!! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • You were OK? No…you really ought to try the drink. You have to try everything at least once. The Seeker would, you know. Or has! I almost bought that lamp, it was too funny. I stopped and stared at it, went back by it a couple times. But…shipping and a place for it to sit??? Too much to think about in summer.

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  8. I always wanted to be the Green Fairy. Never drank absinthe…but mescal is something else…my curiosity always gets the best of me. I guess my initiation to drinking originated with Mr. Dishman’s wine. He a local farmer or whatever who supplied many an unlikely gathering. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I’m a lightweight in the alcohol department, especially with the hard stuff. I may be a bit tipsy just reading this post come to think of it.
    Echoing an earlier comment I think there should be a book in the making for your Mr Badfish.

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    • Sue, I was hoping to make at least one person a little tipsy with the reading! And maybe spew some coffee onto her screen. And since I’m such a putz at putting myself out there (like you guys) and actually making it work for you, let’s pray someone wants to publish this stuff, so I don’t have to beg.

      Liked by 1 person

      • You make me smile Badfish. You may have to put yourself out there a little bit. 🙂
        I believe you hold the record for my coffee spewing. Perhaps put that on your resume.

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        • Right, got it…so you’re saying you’ll be one of my references, eh! Love it. I always wanted to be someone’s record for spitting coffee! Crossed off the bucket list!!

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  10. Another gem, no, another great gem. I’m in awe of your poetic vision, even if it was “only” the absinthe speaking. I too have no head for alcohol, but you make me want to go to that absinthe bar in Prague for just one glass. Thanks for another wonderful post.

    p.s. I love the van Gogh’s ear painting and the lamp with the human face carved into it.

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    • Don…cool, but listen, when you go to Prague, make sure you stay in the Old Town section, maybe the Jewish section, it’s near Absintherie…you don’t want to have to walk too far home after slipping out on your balcony (where you guys often go without the aid of the stuff!). I was thinking of you guys while writing, you know. Poetic vision…right, it was the absinthe talking. but fine by me!!

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  11. Badfish, I’m sorry. The description of your face as you took your first sip made me laugh out loud, especially when I got to the face lamp. (probably because that’s the exact way I looked the first and only time I tried scotch whiskey) Again, I’m passing this post on to my daughter in advance of her visit to Prague in December, along with a warning to steer clear of the absinthe. I’d like to think she is going to keep her wits about her while travelling.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Scotch…that would make any lamp pucker up its mouth and never try it again. I think I tried scotch once, too…bad stuff that. Thanks for passing it on to your daughter, I hope she enjoys Prague, well…I know she will, what’s not to like. And in December…how cool (no pun intended). You can warn her, but you know she’s going to wander into a bar and light that shit on fire and in twenty years comment in someone’s blog about the face she made. Tell her to rent a Segway…my biggest disappointment, in not renting one, and now others have told me it was their greatest time there.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Thank you ever so much for taking us with you on your absinthe journey. I could never ‘walk out on a balcony at the edge of everything’ with alcohol as my guide, but I loved hearing about your experience!

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    • Margie, well thank you ever so much for joining us on the journey and hanging out here. And if you ever do walk out on that balcony, make sure there’s a railing…or safety belt attached. There’s always thorn bushes below!!

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  13. This is great stuff, and I am not necessarily talking about the absinthe. You took us through the journey of your mind in an absolutely fascinating manner. And I might just try absinthe some day!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Baddie!!! Youve changed your name to the Badfish and Chips Cafe! 🙂
    Since I coined that term in the first place, I’m very pleased.
    I’m also pleased you are back in the water – or absinthe – not much fun for a fish to be outa water!

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    • I know, I thought you’d see it right away. But you know, being outta water is not always that bad a thing…it’s where I feel at my best, I think. And when you’re always in water, your skin begins to shrivel.

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      • Oh, that was a good one, too! No, it was the one about an exploding third eye. I was at work (a litte workplace anarchy reading your post) and blurted a laugh. Love it, and really love this post. Your Prague trip obviously inpired you down to your b’thonged toes.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Workplace anarchy….YAY! That’s what we pray for her at Badfish & Co. I think I was inspired a bit in Prague, but you know, I didn’t even have a pair of thongs with me, I was traveling light.

          Liked by 1 person

  15. Don had told me how good this piece was, so I had to wait for a time when I could give it all my attention. It is one of your best for sure, and I was hooked from beginning to end. Thank you for a wonderful ride. It made me laugh, and it made me smile. I also liked the photographs, especially the one with flowers and bottles behind, and the one looking in through the window.
    I may make you want to be a better photographer. You make me want to be a better writer.
    Alison

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    • I’m glad Don liked it and that you took your time (you guys were a major role model) for the balcony bit. And you know, for some reason, I really like the photo of the flowers looking in. Not my usual shot, but it caught my eye as I passed. Maybe we should mind meld ala Star Trek!!

      Liked by 1 person

  16. This was a captivating and well written piece. I wish I could hold my alcohol better than I can but nonetheless enjoyed this tremendously, both the writing and the photographs.

    Peta

    Liked by 1 person

    • My motto is “everything and anything (almost) in moderation” so I agree you should try dancing with the green fairy at least once…but follow the recipe!!

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  17. The closest I’ve been to the Green Fairy was after a Sazerac (Cognac and absinthe traditionally) in New Orleans. I saw her, but she was disguised as a turtle and wouldn’t dance? Nice post!

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  18. Like you, I’m not a drinker. I cannot hold alcohol in any way, and a couple of mouthfuls of beer is enough to make the world spin right before my eyes. The barmaid sounds very much knowledgeable about absinthe. Who knew it could be drunk in so many ways and came in different varieties. Maybe you’ll go back for more Beetle Absinthe in the future…

    Liked by 1 person

  19. I see that our paths have crossed. I’ve visited the same bar in Praha (Prague).
    You write really good. I wish I could write like that. Here are some photos from my visit to that bar: https://cardinalguzman.wordpress.com/2016/04/03/at-a-bar-in-praha/
    https://cardinalguzman.wordpress.com/2016/05/13/absinthe-1020598/

    Van Gogh (and all the others) were simply barking loony:
    “The chemical compound thujone, although present in the spirit in only trace amounts, was blamed for its alleged harmful effects. By 1915, absinthe had been banned in the United States and in much of Europe, including France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland and Austria-Hungary. Although absinthe was vilified, it has not been demonstrated to be any more dangerous than ordinary spirits. Recent studies have shown that absinthe’s psychoactive properties (apart from that of the alcohol) have been exaggerated.” (Wikipedia)

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    • HA!! OM…Thanks, I think. But now I don’t know if I should feel flattered, or offended! I WISH I could just sit down and have this stuff come Stephen Kinging out of me in one sitting. But NO…this is hours of work, hours of rewriting. Where do you get all the emoticons?

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  20. Oh My Mr. Badfish……Wow! I think I’m in love with you! HA! …I want to jump in that story and participate…stand on the edge of the balcony above it all… thanks for the deep thought…inspiring!

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  21. Wow, wow, wow. I absolutely loved this. A fellow blogger, Don & Allison, sent me a link to this post a few days after I posted “Absinthe ~ Sojourn with the Green Goddess” and curious I took a look. Brilliant writing, reflections and, of course, great information. As I now spend much of my time in the Czech Republic (55km outside of Prague), you’ve given more fuel to chase down the Green Fairy. I must find here again 🙂 Cheers ~

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    • Dalo…thanks so much for checking it out and hanging out here a while. I have to warn you, if you drink that stuff, buy the good stuff, and go with a friend! And don’t drive. I heard they were going to change the name to Czechia…did they do that yet?

      Like

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