I am in the very fortunate situation to have travelled the world quite a bit. What I have picked up, is that us South Africans are quite heavy drinkers. I am not talking about getting up in the morning & downing a bottle of klippies (although this probably does happen in some cases), it is more the after-work activities which I am relating to.
Granted, I am part of this culture. I go to the local pub at least three times per week after work, whether with colleagues or friends. On the weekend I usually have a few dops after a 9 or 18 hole round, or when watching a big rugby/cricket game. Then there is the odd bottle of wine to accompany dinner, whether at home or in a restaurant.
How much do I drink of what? I guess it’s between 2-4 draughts at the pub after work, as well as the odd Jaeggi-shot. Around 4-5 draughts on an afternoon watching sport on the bigscreen, add to that the victory/misery shots. Many of my colleagues & friends might drink one small draught & then switch to the hard stuff. Others don’t drink beer at all & only stick to their vodka/gin/cane/klippies mixes all night/afternoon.
In Europe I only felt this after-work pub culture in the UK. I must admit that the working-class drink a lot more that the white-collar workforce, at least this was my experience whilst I lived in the UK for a year back in 2002.
I spent a few months in Germany, and here some of the blue-collar elderly men meet up 2-3 times per week at a local “Pils Bar”. Your average office worker does not, unless they attend after-work parties in the large cities, which happens once a week. But this is just a few hundred people amongst many million.
From my experiences of travelling through Italy, Czech Republic, Spain & a few other countries in Europe, I found that young adults (students, etc) go out a few times during the week, but this is not want my subject relates to.
I only spent a few weeks in various US cities, and found the after-work pub-going to be alive, but not buzzing.
These are just my experiences during travels, and I stand to be corrected by any of you living in these regions or having experienced these cultures longer than I have.
This dop phenomena is spread across the whole of SA. The same routine when visiting my Uncle in Somerset West, or cousins in Balito, business trips to Bloem, PE etc. I have even found some of the smaller dorpies to be worse off than the cities, where the whole groep van manne ontmoet elke aand na werk in die hotel bar om die Klippes te gooi. More often than not Koos die mechanic en Jan die Paneel Klopper start donnering each other after the 7th Klippies (just generalizing here my Afrikaans broers).
I heard of similar routines in the townships from my gardener.
In fact, I was shocked to realize that I cannot think back to when last I had an alcohol-free week. Don’t get me wrong - I do eat quite healthily & make an effort to either go for a run once a week or gym twice a week.
Is this as bad as is sounds? Are we a nation of Alci’s?
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