Japan beer vending machines are a great way to get rid of all that loose change before you leave Japan. I was with some folks, and on our last day we went on a tour up to a volcano on a tour bus provided by the company we were visiting. I loaded up in the hotel vending machine and we sat off. It was a great bus ride and it definitely added to the volcano experience. Can’t say it did much for my reputation as the town drunk though.
Last January I was curious if my drinking was a “want to” or “need to” thing, so I got on the wagon for an entire month. It was a good month, didn’t have any desire to drink and it wasn’t something I had to force myself to stick to. After about a month I started drinking again and have been since. At that time I had a keg of beer on tap in the house at all times so it was always available. Sometimes I go dry for a couple of days just to see what it feels like.
I think the thing you really need to watch out for is binge drinking. I am really trying to cut back and to eliminate it on the weekends because I end up sleeping all day Saturday and Sunday and then getting up in time to go out to party again. Gets old after a while and you start to feel like you are living a strange version of “Grounds Hog Day,” except I am a drunken Bill Murray, and the only way the day will end is when the ground hog and I stay home and drink tea instead of going on a wild drinking binge and driving off a cliff with a van full of pyscho xiaojies and betelnut beauties.
I had a group of foreign friends in Kaohsiung and sometimes we would nervously laugh about our drinking habits, and basically it came down to 5-6 beers a day was healthy, otherwise we wouldn’t all be drinking like this. Guess part of it comes from being in a foreign country and the stresses involved, but in the US I drank alot, but never tied it to feeling better. It was something I did with my friends and roommates as more of a social thing. Sometimes here it is too easy to tie the drinking to feeling better, or coping. Alone I really don’t drink, and that is probably my personal “canary in the mine” for my drinking behaviour. Once I sit at home and get in a stupor every night by myself I will get on a plane and go somewhere for a nice long reality check.