One question I still haven't completely come to a decision on is what to do about drinking. Here in the U.S., I drink moderately by most standards. I have a hangover usually twice a year or so, on New Year's Day and the day after my birthday. I have wine or cocktails two or three times a week, and don't have more than three drinks usually. Two drinks is probably average.
When I was in Buenos Aires, I drank more than that. I couldn't give an average per day or week, but I was hung over a lot more than twice in a year. There are several reasons that drinking is easier there:
- It's cheap. If you earn dollars, alcohol is very inexpensive. You can get a good bottle of Malbec for about $5 U.S. You can get a liter of beer for $2.
- It's easily available. The grocery store is 50 yards from my front door. Two of the most popular bars for tourists and expats are within two blocks. Some stores deliver.
- It's the center of social activities: Social gatherings are almost always in bars, and at parties, I am given a filled wine glass as soon as I walk in the door.
- I don't have to drive. After dinner, I only have to be coherent enough to give a taxi driver my address, and I'm home.
- I have more leisure time. Because I have domestic help, my life is centered around work and play. When work is over, it's over, and I have more time to enjoy myself.
So the question is: how do I maintain moderation while surrounded by excess? Give myself rules? Two drink max? No alcohol at home?
How do you handle moderation?
This post was written, in part, for affordablecallingcards.net where Julia writes about her expat adventures, as well as on this blog. You can follow her in both places.