does it matter where you live? I don’t think so. are there some cities or cultures or places where there is more alcohol? sure, but you might be surprised at how it’s handled.
my experience. not fact.
in the US and in Canada there are whole events that are constructed – it would seem – solely to be places to drink. baseball games. musical ‘festivals’. the local block party will have an area tarped off to provide shelter for stuck together group consumption. where I come from, ‘want to come and watch the game’ means ‘want to come and watch me drink in my basement’. an invitation to play guitar around the campfire means ‘want to come watch me drink near live fire’. Can you attend these events and not drink? of course. they’re just boring. and long.
on my trips to London, i’ve found whole parts of the city that are basically outdoor bars. Drinking in the pub and outside on the street. You come out of a tube station day and night, and there are people drinking everywhere. It’s a sport in itself. It’s an event. can you go out in London and not drink? certainly. I’ve done it. but I’ve also seen one drunk guy trying to get another drunk guy home on the tube. and I had to get up and move to another carriage. drunkenness and public rail transit seems too dangerous to witness up close. I get it, you want them on the subway and not driving. so the message of ‘don’t drink and drive’ should be updated to include ‘don’t fall down the cement steps, don’t step between the train and the platform, don’t try to exit the train while the doors are closing, don’t start to hustle some young girl while her burly borderline personality boyfriend is sitting beside her’.
Can you go to italy and not drink? apparently. I haven’t been back since I quit. Can you go to spain? theoretically. I haven’t done that either. or Amsterdam. some places I have yet to revisit now that i don’t drink, to see what they’re really like. to have the real vacation. which I’ve up to now missed. like I want to redo all these places again, sober. to really be there.
but I have gone to Belgium sober. and all over France. and I’ve been to London and Scotland, Canada, the US. I’ve gone to Portugal sober. one great thing about countries like france, no one would ever ask you why you’re not drinking. way too impolite. you just do your thing. they do theirs. you’re worried about travelling to italy? you can remind wolfie that it’s always easier than you think it’ll be. remind wolfie of the many new brands of fancy water. remind wolfie of the – oh my god – desserts you have to sample. have to. must.