So last week I was in New York and something amazing happened that made me feel really nostalgic of Italy.
I was in an Irish pub in Manhattan (you can’t escape Irish pubs – trying is useless) around midnight and I was drinking my beer.
Suddenly I felt like having chips, I mean, French fries and I asked the barman if I could order them.
And he cooked them for me!!
Whenever I go to a pub crawl in Sheffield starting at 7, I still take for granted that we will eat there, because this is what I’ve done for 25 years of my life.
As a result, I have skipped at least one third of the dinners since I arrived in town.
Something else felt really out of order in my Manhattan pub.
I could easily talk to the other people on the table, without having to scream or gesticulate like we were all Italians at the table; the music was only a background, something to accompany the flow of words and not to prevent it from coming out.
It wasn’t all about drinking and getting drunk: it was also about enjoying the company and the food.
In sum, nothing like a West Street night out.
I almost felt home.
Don’t get me wrong, in Italy we like to get drunk as fuck too.
We also have a big issue with driving while we are not even able to remember the alphabet; which, with all due respect, is much more severe than urinating on the war memorial for people die instead of just being rightfully humiliated for life.
By the way, I could bet my life on the fact Philip Laing will never see a drop of alcohol again; in terms of preventing pancreatic cancer that’s the best thing that could happen to him.
But getting wasted is not the main point of going out.
We like alcohol, of course, we have the best wines in the world, but we also like to taste what we are ingesting – even if it’s cheap.
We don’t just gulp it down wanting to forget ourselves. We go to pubs to talk to our friends and in order not to drink too much most of the time we also order something to eat to go along with the cocktails.
But yes, cocktails and wine are just too good (while beer sucks, unfortunately) and we always end up hugging in the street and singing some very sad love song at 3 am in the morning: but it’s not the main aim of the whole let’s-go-out-on-a-Saturday-night thing.
Drinking is one of the purest pleasures of mankind and I recommend practising it as much as possible; but what’s the point of a pub crawl if everywhere the beers and the cocktails are all tasteless and the same?
What’s the point of alienating ourselves in a gigantic pint and loud music instead of interacting with other human beings?
I don’t want to sound prude, but think about it: life is too short to drink bad alcohol.
By Marta Musso
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