Keeping Croatia in the top 5

I learned this week that Croatia is in the top five alcohol consumers of Europe.

The list looks like this:

europe-alcohol-consumption

Truly, I’m surprised. C and I often talk about how rarely we see drunk people roaming the streets of Zagreb. It just doesn’t happen. As far as we can tell, nobody drinks very much.

ometimes – and I know this will astonish you – but sometimes we go out for a beer on a Friday night. The bar will always be full of people sitting in pairs and small groups, smoking their faces off, but not really drinking very much.

For example, there is almost always a pair of young men, two boys out having a friendly Friday night together, and they’ll be drinking tea! TEA! And sometimes they’ll have a cake with it, too. And I’m not talking about boys who might be thinking about taking this tea to the next level. I’m talking about butch burly straight Catholic Croatian boys, who think it’s perfectly normal to sit down and have a cup of tea with your mates.

We also frequently see a group of men out, and two will be drinking beer, one will be drinking rakija, and the two others will be drinking coffee or a hot chocolate. This is considered absolutely normal.

I cannot conceive of a situation in Australia that would have five men sitting around together with such widely different drinking habits, and no one batting an eyelid.

What I particularly love about the list of alcohol consumers is that Croatia is not at the top of anything. It’s quite low down in the beer-drinking stakes. It doesn’t do well at all in the spirits way. And even for wine, it’s only third after Portugal and France. But overall, it fucking nails it. Go Croatia.

I like to think that C and I have helped to keep Croatia in the game, by improving their beer ranking. Our little contribution keeps Croatia in the top five.

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Nat Newman

Nat Newman is an award-winning writer of short stories, content, podcasts, feature articles, drunk text messages and, soon, a novella.

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