Thursday, June 21, 2012

Drinking in Public

So when I first moved to the Czech Republic two years ago to do my TEFL course, I remember being really surprised that you could drink in public.

You can walk into a corner store, buy a beer, ask them to open it for you, and then walk out the door drinking it. Walking down the street with a beer in hand, no problem. Chilling out at the park with a beer in hand, no problem. Walking between bars with a beer in hand, no problem! This is pretty much how Europe in general operates. Drinking just isn't seen as a major vice or issue. Do what you want.

- photo jacked from The Rudy Report

It was a shock, but even after only being here for six weeks I was pretty used to it. So much so that when I went back to Texas in 2010, I got really confused when a bouncer got angry at me when I still had my beer in my hand as I was walking out the door to talk to all my smoker friends. Because not only can you not smoke inside bars in Austin, you can't take your beer outside with you when you go to smoke.

Here, you can do whatever the hell you want within reason. (Drinking and smoking in public and the presence of others, oh my... Now that's scandalous.)

Which makes me wonder, why isn't it within reason in America to walk down the street with a beer? I'm not sloshed. I'm just drinking a beer. So what?

And so here I am in one of the drinkingest places in the world getting ready to move to one of the least drinking place in the world. It will definitely take some adjustments.

Hey let's have a picnic. Oh I'll bring a bottle of.... not wine. Dammit. (Wait a minute, isn't it like seven thousand degrees outside? Totally not having a picnic at all. Problem avoided.)

Sure, you can drink in Kurdistan. The area I'll be living in has easy access to alcohol and it's not even really marked up. You're just expected to be discreet about it.

I suspect that living in Kurdistan will not be all that different from living in Texas. Switch out Christianity for Islam and really.... Hmmmmmm.

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