December 9, 2008 : 6:29 AM
Vegetarian vs Non Drinkers
I think in Australia it is much easier to be a vegetarian (we love our meat) than it is a non drinker (we love our beer more).
I have been a non drinker (i dont drink alcohol) since I left highschool. Now I have been drunk twice since then at random occasions but those were purely for the enjoyment of those around me. It was my party trick :)
But here I'll role play two conversations and you'll get my point why it's easier to be a vegetarian than a non drinker.
Vegetarian at a BBQ:
Non Drinker at a BBQ:
I've cut down the conversation for the non drinker as the conversations usually got for longer. My new excuse is that I'm Muslim (well almost) but this starts an even longer conversation thread and sometimes you just want a dam OJ and not a "my life story"
My reason for not drinking comes from when I left the Gold Coast to come to Sydney to study I had no money at all. Also my previous girlfriend didn't drink either (Buddhist) so it was easy to stop. And after 2 years of studying with no social life in a new city I had no reason to take up drinking once I started working. My new (and current girlfriend) didn't drink either (Muslim) so it was an easy progression. They money I saved was also good too. I can only consume 2-3 OJ's a a drinks night at the pub before feeling like a vitamin C tablet.
Friday night drinks at the office sometimes annoy me as we'll get 2 cartons of beer in and they'll be passed around staff. No one bothers (90% of the time) to get an OJ or a Lemon Lift or hell even a Mountain Dew (which I actually like). Even with another non drinker (Buddhist) in the office it was "drinker blindness/ignorance". Even after mentioning it a few times it was always an afterthought.
I tried to change this buy pre-purchasing non alcoholic drinks for the "non drinkers" but they just got consumed quickly dby the drinkers too when the beers ran out and then not ordered again. So I gave up and now just put a frumpy face on in my corner with my glass of filtered water :) hehe actually now I'm just grateful when there is something non beer.
Worse is industry functions where there is nothign non alcoholic. I've been a few award shows and tonic water was my only option. Not even a Coke (which I also dont like).
I'm also glad there are places like Passion Flower or San Churro or heck even Starbucks which offer an atmosphere where you can enjoy a chat without drinking. I guess drinking culture in Australia is so ingrained (worse in the UK) that people forget that not everyone drinks or think that the pub is the only place to go.
Some friends have started "not drinking" for short bursts of time and it's funny how they comment after a big night out. "Everyone was being a dickhead" seems to be a usual response or "how sloppy did XXXX get, oh dear". Once the veil is removed you realise that getting pissed isn't the top tier of enlightenment and that you can actually have fun and enjoy a chat without getting tipsy.
I need to get my licence renewed so I can at least be the designated driver again :)
Final thought: At your next party/BBQ/function spare a though for those that don't drink and offer a wide selection of non alcoholic drinks. None of that Spring valley shitty OJ. Get fresh stuff as you wouldn't crack open the XXXX at a party so don't get the equivalent of that for non drinkers. So in the same way you check if there are vegetarians also check if there is non drinkers.
Posted at December 9, 2008 : 6:29 AM
Archived in: whinge