When I was leaving my job in London to start my new life here, I had a small leaving party. There wasn’t a lot of people, but I was happy as I didn’t have to play nice with people who I didn’t really care for. P had already left the company and E was on maternity leave but I was sat at a table with the good friends I had made over the years. Even though it was a small number, it didn’t stop me from getting rather tipsy and seated at Waterloo station with my good friends M and Gav eating a greasy burger king burger at a quarter past midnight.
On Friday we has a leaving party for a colleague of mine, after 6 years he was off to pastures new, we arrived at 6, by 8.30 I was tucked up in bed, rather sober watching the remaining episodes of gossip girl season 1. Now I’m not saying that the London social scene is better or worse than Ghana but there is a clear difference to the work/social life I came from to the one that I have come to.
Back in my previous life the social week would start on a Wednesday or Thursday, normally a few drinks after work, nothing overboard but a little stress reliever. Each person would buy a round and then off you go. On Friday, most but not all, it was the big one. We go to a pub, and everyone puts a ten or twenty in a jar, then its a case of drink until your cappa is full, and then try and catch the last train back or else its the long journey back home on the night bus, either journey you take you need to ensure that you don’t fall asleep and end up far away from home.
Here in Ghana, I have a few friends, all guys who like a few bevvy’s of an evening but most girls are usually tucked up in bed by 9 so basically it is straight home from work. Social activities are limited to a Saturday and even at that it is usually to go to a wedding, outdooring/christening or a funeral. So socializing is mainly done between the hours of 10 and 6, then church on Sunday followed maybe by a bite to eat and then home. Drinking is associated with a certain type of person. I recall on Friday a gentleman saying that when he performs he wants to do it with his eyes clear so he doesn’t drink. In London though, having a few glasses of wine is not seen as a performance enhancer so to speak, but just a drink to be social.
Now while I don’t think falling down drunk is especially something to be proud of, it is just part of a culture that I have been used to and never really stopped to analyse it. Granted I have at times had one too many, and the hangover the following day certainly isn’t the greatest, but I just never really questioned it until I came here that is. But I come to the same conclusion every time, just like any kind of consumption, whether it be food, alcohol or a sugary drink, everything in moderation and don’t over indulge.
And most of all, and if you look at yourself in the mirror and like what you see, then you don’t have a problem, if you don’t however, then fix it. A very simple idea, but quite effective.