A while ago my friend Mieke commented this ‘Jana, doe jij daar nog iets anders dan boozen? :p’ (Jana, do you do anything other than drink?) on one of my photos. This made me think… Made me think a lot! She actually said this on 23 January 2013, and it’s still on my mind.
The photo that caused it all: my brother Anton and our friend Shannon from the US celebrating happy hour by drinking two (2) cocktails
Initially, I was insulted. “No, Mieke, we do not just drink!” I wanted to say. We do a lot of sightseeing. We went to a few museums here and there. We hike. We see movies. We update our blog. We take pictures. We sometimes go to bed early, and get up earlier. We have late nights without alcohol. We have early nights with. We party; we are serious. We interact with the locals, and we hang out with other tourists. We go on tours and listen to what our guide has to say. We put the Lonely Planet in our backpack and make our own way across the city.
We arrived in Lucknow, India, by bus early in the morning and wandered around the town’s sights with just the Lonely Planet in our hand until we caught a train to Agra (home of the Taj Mahal)
But I didn’t reply immediately, because I have learned that I need to think things through before I do so.
Now, as for the question on all of your minds: What do I think?
Well, that’s the thing: I am not entirely sure what to say.
There are times that I loath the thought of a drink. There are as many where I happily drink until I can remember no more. Either way, I must admit I do think that boozing is a way to connect to people. Obviously, you let your guard down, because that’s just what alcohol does. On top of that, you usually are in a relaxed environment where there is no obligations: you have a beer, you have a chat. People like to drink – for better or for worse. It is an excepted drug and almost all of us gladly let themselves be carried away by the oblivion it brings.
“Sorry ’bout last night; I had too much to drink” is something everyone has said or heard.
It makes meeting people easier. And truth be told, sooner or later hanging out with your little brother is going to drive you crazy. (As – surprisingly – will being around your older sister constantly…) So you sit down on one of the many curbside terraces in Ho Chi Minh City, park your scooter at any crossroad or beach in Goa, sit down at a rooftop terrace in Kathmandu or walk to the pub in Harrietville – have a pint, a glass of wine, a cocktail – and soon enough you’ll be having an interesting conversation with the person sitting next to you, be that a local or another tourist.
There are times that we drink a lot. There are as many that we drink less or nothing.
For example, I have only had two glasses of wine on two different occasions in the last week. Before that, when we were in Sydney, we drank substantial amounts of alcoholic beverages. As we did when we were in Goa and Vietnam. By contrast, we hardly ever drank when we were in Nepal.
Yet most pictures I put on Facebook are of us boozing, I guess. I just checked my Facebook, and it is true. Think about this though: Is it true – yes or no – that we only put pictures on Facebook of when we are having a fantastic time, of when we are with other people enjoying something or other? And we secretly want to make the people who aren’t there jealous?
Isn’t Facebook simply a way to let others know how freaking awesome our lifes are?
These are all on Facebook:
This is for all my drinking buddies – wherever you are!