Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Beer and efficiency

Boozing in Berlin
(c) fifiheavey
Ireland does not not have a drinking culture.
That is a bold statement, but one I most definitely stand over after my return visit to Berlin last week.

In general, us Irish reserve our drinking to the weekend or occasions of celebration or commiseration. We don't drink every day, because despite generations of stigma it is not our culture.

"God invented whiskey so the Irish wouldn't rule the world!"
We are fond of and take to The Drink on a regular basis, but it has never become part of daily life.

Germans are known as pretty crazy party people. Their dance and rock music influences helps hammer in that perception. But from what I witnessed last week, they do not reserve their drinking habits for parties only.

Let there be Rock - Bretter Bube Bar
Take the U-bahn and you meet locals swigging beer, watch out for the cyclist balancing steering their bike with taking a sip of local brew and don't be surprised to see alcohol ... everywhere.

(c) fifiheavey
Small glass bottles of vodka, gin, jagermeister are sold just above the sweet stands at the counters of supermarkets. "Where is the nearest bar?” is a silly question, every eatery including cafes and some take-aways give you access to an alcoholic beverage.

“Just apple juice?” a waitress questioned confused as we ordered brunch, around us everyone had a a 'real' drink in front of them.

And does all this mass drinking result in chaos? Puke on the streets? Loud singing? Rudeness?
A lack of productivity? 

Apelmann - East German pedestrian traffic light
are symbols of German efficiency
(c) fifiheavey

How can a land of beer on every corner result in one of the most efficient systems?
Trains run on time, people queue in an orderly manner, food is fast and yummy, the streets are clean and the people are respectful.

Checkpoint Charlie, Berlin
(c) fifiheavey

And the biggest benefit to drinking German beer?
No Hangover!

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