Monday, November 21, 2011

Last Monday Night

Ma·ru·a [mah-roo-ah] : noun, Ugandan alcoholic beverage from brewed from millet, grains, and yeast.  Mixed with hot water in a clay pot and swallowed through a long wooden straw and a metal filter, marua 'sessions' are commonly had for social gatherings, philosophical rants, discussions about cultural superstitions, and explanations for how to harvest sim sim [sesame] seeds.  Also known as la·coi [lah-choi].

Most experienced drinkers claim that first-time drinkers will not enjoy the taste or appearance or its effects on the stomach.  However, a small population of considerably thin and blue-shirted Filipino drinkers will say that if a wine were to be made of coffee beans instead of grapes, marua would be the final product, that it looks just like finely blended mate, and that no toilet-related problems will follow the initial drinking experience.

Some first time drinkers are observed to be overly excited about partaking in marua that the 'thumbs up' sign is frequently flashed to onlookers.  Luckily, surrogate older brothers [as pictured below] will keep these first timers grounded and acting within a sensible range of reason for the occasion.

At the end of the day, marua comes highly recommended not for its alcoholic content [one will arguably get more of a buzz from one bottle of Nile beer] but for the overall atmosphere it creates, especially that with strangers.  Take proper hesitiation, though, as locals are more than likely to go on rants about why watching cats have sex, having a tree branch break in front of you, and hitting your right leg on paths that go to the left is considered bad luck.


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