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How to Politely Refuse a Drink in Poland


oldkenman 2 | 3
8 Sep 2010 #1
So I wish I could drink like I did in my 30's and 40's, but the damage is done. Now more than one or two causes me much distress. Poland and most of Central and Eastern European countries have a serious tradition of drink and wish to share it, or so I read. If I could freely down one drink as a recognition of someone's kindness, I would gladly do it. But I know how often the contest begins, and I cannot tolerate alcohol anymore without great discomfort literally for days after. What a waste of my vacation time. So the question is, what is the best way to refuse without offending people, and causing more discord in the world? I will be in Poland for three weeks mostly in Selesia and Lodz.
convex 20 | 3,978
8 Sep 2010 #2
Just tell people that you don't drink. Lots of people don't.
Teffle 22 | 1,321
8 Sep 2010 #3
Er...no thanks but I don't drink ?!

Not being smart, but is it anymore difficult than that?

I know quite a lot of people who don't drink (and I also come from a country known for drinking, Ireland) but nobody is offended by people turning down the offer of alcohol.
jonni 16 | 2,485
8 Sep 2010 #4
How to Politely Refuse a Drink

1. No thanks, I'm a recovering alcoholic and after one sniff of shandy I won't stop until I've smashed the place up.
2. No thanks, I've got a dose of the clap and it'll interfere with my medication.
3. No thanks - maybe in a while.

You shouldn't worry. A lot of people in PL don't drink at all, or very little.
noreenb 7 | 557
8 Sep 2010 #5
You can say:
"I always laugh before drinking" and just try to do this.
:)
Trevek 26 | 1,702
8 Sep 2010 #6
Possible to ask for a 'symbolyczny' (sp?) and just kiss it rather than drink it.

wave a car key at them.

Just say that you don't drink.
szarlotka 8 | 2,209
8 Sep 2010 #7
Why not just say that you very rarely drink but will join them for just the one in appreciation of their friendship. Saying you don't drink when you do enjot one or two seems a bit like overkill.
wildrover 98 | 4,451
9 Sep 2010 #8
wave a car key at them.

Ha..a fat lot of use that will be....When i first came to Poland i tried the no thanks i am driving , or riding my motorcycle statement...but that just resulted in people saying..so what..?

The fact you are going to be driving is sadly not seen as a good reason not to drink by many people in Poland...

In fact i think some Poles do not see any reason for not drinking...

Just explain you cannot drink much for medical reasons...nobody is gonna hate you for it...
aphrodisiac 11 | 2,444
9 Sep 2010 #9
or tell them that you really go crazy when you drink; such as: you want to make out with all the women in the room, married or not;)
wildrover 98 | 4,451
9 Sep 2010 #10
Ha...thats sure to have all the old ugly babcias chucking vodka in his pepsi...
trener zolwia 1 | 940
9 Sep 2010 #11
So the question is, what is the best way to refuse without offending people, and causing more discord

Just tell them that the booze interferes with the heroin high.
Teffle 22 | 1,321
9 Sep 2010 #12
Er...am I detecting that turning down the offer of alcohol has the potential for social awkwardness or disharmony in Poland?

WTF ?!

Tell them politely that you don't drink. Simple as. No other explanation necessary. Plenty of people don't drink.

If your hosts take offence at this and percieve it as rude, ironically, it is they who are being rude by dictating which form of hospitality you must accept or decline and by not considering your own habits/wishes. There are plenty of other ways they can be generous/hospitable or whatever.
A J 4 | 1,088
9 Sep 2010 #13
or tell them that you really go crazy when you drink; such as: you want to make out with all the women in the room, married or not;)

Hey! That's not crazy! That's perfectly normal!

;P
MareGaea 29 | 2,752
9 Sep 2010 #14
or tell them that you really go crazy when you drink

...
>^..^<

M-G (still think it's one of the funniest scenes)
FlaglessPole 4 | 669
9 Sep 2010 #15
Tell them that when you're on smack you can't drink alcohol, and the last time you mixed the two it resulted in 6 days coma, so no thanx. And if for some odd reason they still should be looking weird at you, just smile and say: "Ha, gotcha! No really, you see I'm a devout Muslim, so I can't (smirk)".
A J 4 | 1,088
9 Sep 2010 #16
Przepraszam, ale moje ciało nie może znieść dużo alkoholu.

:)
beckski 12 | 1,617
10 Sep 2010 #17
My brother gave me a hint in advance, pertaining to Polish toasts. Relatives at our cousin's wedding in Lublin, would expect us to make several wódka toasts, to the bride and groom.There seemed to be endless baskets, filled with Palace Wódka. I had a half a shot glass; that was enough for me. Much too strong for this California girl. Every time we toasted, I simply kept using the same shot glass, never drinking or refilling the contents!



Eurola 4 | 1,906
10 Sep 2010 #18
Good girl. Otherwise you'd be under the table in no time. I see that the drinking a toast tradition is still alive and well.. :)

I have a polish wedding to go to this Saturday. I'm looking forward to it, it's going to be a lot of fun and i will definitely use your trick. I just want to dance..and dance..and dance (without falling).. :)
beckski 12 | 1,617
10 Sep 2010 #19
I just want to dance..and dance..and dance (without falling).. :)

Have a blast at the Polish wedding. Save the room in your stomach for all the delicious Polish food, instead of booze...



Eurola 4 | 1,906
10 Sep 2010 #20
Save the room in your stomach for all the delicious Polish food, instead of booze...

Exactly! Eat and dance to burn the calories! It's a pretty nice restaurant the wedding is at, so the food should be DELICIOSO! :)
Trevek 26 | 1,702
10 Sep 2010 #21
Every time we toasted, I simply kept using the same shot glass, never drinking or refilling the contents!

I did something like this at a wedding (I was driving) but I had a bottle of mineral water between my legs. The other guy kept insisting we drink, screaming at me when I initially said I wasn't drinking... hence the water). I kept topping up my glass when he wasn't looking. Of course, as he got drunker, I didn't. Eventually he looked at me with total admiration, "You drink like a Pole!"

Other times I've accepted a glass and kept my fingers around it to hide what was in it, whilst tipping it into a teacup or the nearest flower pot.
Teffle 22 | 1,321
10 Sep 2010 #22
whilst tipping it into a teacup or the nearest flower pot.

LOL - classic! Straight from a sitcom.
wildrover 98 | 4,451
10 Sep 2010 #23
whilst tipping it into a teacup or the nearest flower pot.

This resulted in an old tea drinking babcia being completely off her face.....and a pot plant with an alcohol problem....!
Trevek 26 | 1,702
10 Sep 2010 #24
and a pot plant with an alcohol problem....!

yeah, pot and alcohol don't mix!
aphrodisiac 11 | 2,444
10 Sep 2010 #25
Ha...thats sure to have all the old ugly babcias chucking vodka in his pepsi...

yah, you are right;)
kev24 - | 1
10 Sep 2010 #26
First time i met the GF's folks the father sabotaged me with Warka Strong! (as the name suggests) I was belting out Irish Ballads after 4 cans! great craic. The next time i thought to myself i should give a good impression and not drink - "Kevin you want beer" "Nie dzienkuje" he broke his heart laughing because he knew i was Irish and chomping at the bit for a drink (i was fooling nobody)!! Saying no has never been an option for me! nazdrowia! (did i spell that wrong - im trying to learn) good luck!
OP oldkenman 2 | 3
10 Sep 2010 #27
Thank You for all the varied replies. I shall endeavor to embrace the culture, drink moderately, and refrain for stereotypes. I think I'll also get the helpful

Przepraszam, ale moje ciało nie może znieść dużo alkoholu / laminated.
Wroclaw Boy
10 Sep 2010 #28
I just tend to be honest, i can drink vodka and i love it but be warned after about one bottle I tend to go all Jekyll and Hyde, if you beat me in a game of pool or heaven forbid an arm wrestle i'll just keep raising the bar till inevitably if you keep beating me i'll just bash your head with a baseball bat.
OP oldkenman 2 | 3
10 Sep 2010 #29
Great. If I get my head bashed, I want it to be from an honest guy.
pgtx 29 | 3,159
24 Sep 2010 #30
how to say NO to this at a wedding:
"Co k…a? Ze mną się nie napijesz? Za zdrowie młodych! Do dna!"


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