The British drinking culture

That didn’t take long, did it? I’ve only been here in the UK for five months and already I’m cringing at another drinking event with colleagues or with friends. British drinking culture is truly something else.

I’m saying this because it’s December, and people all around are more festive than ever. There are more drinking events, more parties, more celebrations, etc. I’m slowly getting exhausted by all the social activities.

I feel like I’ve gone to at least five of these things in the past few weeks, where I’ve been drinking at least 1 litre of alcohol each time… It’s honestly taking a toll on me. I’m not going anymore, I can’t handle that much alcohol in such a short time. It’s not even about being old and grumpy anymore; it’s about wanting to stay healthy, and wanting to lead a healthy lifestyle. I can’t do that when I’m drinking every damn week. It’s too much.

My workplace’s Christmas party is next week, and I’m honestly a bit nervous about how I’m going to handle it. Colleagues don’t seem to understand the meaning of “no, I’m leaving; I don’t want another drink”, so I hope I can pull off drinking a 50/50 balance of alcohol/water that night without getting judged for not beingΒ fun.

The worst part of all of this is that I can physically feel my stomach feeling worse and worse after the weeks go on. Smelling weird overprocessed foods make feel a bit nauseous, even if it’s hours after I’ve downed 2.5 pints of cider.

I have another drinking social event tomorrow. One of my friends is moving back to Canada, so she has organized bottomless brunch for some of us. I’m nervous. I’m not a strong drinker, and especially not in recent weeks.

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Also, first time seeing @realmadrid play in person!! What a dream. (More photos to come later!)
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I stood at the bar for like, 10 minutes trying to get the attention of one of the bartenders, but he just continued to look over my head. It was packed in this pub – at least two groups of #RealMadrid fans hanging around, decked out in full gear! – so what with busy bartenders and waiters, no one gave a two-shits about this East Asian girl standing and looking helplessly at the bar. Fair enough.⁣
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Finally though, I managed to get the bartender's attention and ordered a mojito. (Also recommended on @foursquare.) The bartender yells at his co-bartender buddy, and I apparently have to wait some more for this mojito to arrive. After a bit, I'm tired of standing around, and walks over to his buddy's side of the bar and looks at him expectantly.⁣
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This guy is cuuute. The top half of his face reminds me of @oscar_emboaba – the eyebrows, the eyes, the hair. But he still takes ages to give me this damn mojito and the free plate of tapas that comes with it. The whole meal cost only €6, but I still want my food, thanks.⁣
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Anyways, after what must've been 15 minutes since walking through the door of this tapas pub, I'm finally served my food and drink. The mojito turns out to be way bigger than the #Foursquare tips said; it's about maybe 3 to 5 times the size of a normal glass of mojito in London or Toronto. The free tapas were decent, but nothing to shout about.⁣
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While I was eating and drinking though, I had to entertain myself with either my phone or the hustle bustle of the venue. That meant a lot of people watching. A lot of people watching that included the groups of local Real Madrid fans – figured that  I should leave for the stadium relatively the same time as they do – and the cute bartender.⁣
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(Continued below...)