2/5/15

#SwedeInMadrid: Rum-Coke combo in the supermarket

Coming from Sweden, where alcohol is only sold in Special stores called Systembolaget, the access to alcohol in food shops in Spain can be a bit surprising.

At the local Carrefour they even offer the possibility to taste different types of alochol in the shop on Fridays, much the same way we can taste cheese and biscuits in the Swedish supermarkets.

In Sweden you will often find candy easily accessible and in full view when you stand in line to pay. Easy to grab and go.

When I shopped in "Simply City" this is what they had available just in front of the check-out:




Why not grab a Rum-Coke combo on the way out?


It is not just that it is easy to buy or taste alcohol - sometimes it is hard not to. We have been to activities where wine or beer has been served - but no alcohol-free alternatives. And this has been activities to which most participants drove. My experience in Sweden is that there are "always" alcohol-free alternatives available when I go to different activities.

Does this easy access and frequent lack of alcohol-free alternatives mean that Spaniards drink more liters of alcohol per capita? Statistics from CE Sifo shows that this is that case, and that it has been the case at least since 1960:



What about  me? Do I drink more alcohol now that I live in Madrid?

Not really. I guess I am too old and wise to be affected by the easy access, not to mention that I care about my health. I have found what works for me and I do not let easy access or other external circumstances affect my drinking habits.

The Dutch alcohol commercials always end with a "Geniet met mate" message. I find it hard to translate well, but basically it means "Enjoy in reasonable measure."

Wherever you are, whether you have easy or difficult access to alcohol, I hope you are able to Genieten met mate.

I especially hope that all of you who are recovering / still struggling alcoholics (like Jack in my book Ursus-dit rättvisan inte når) find your way of enjoying alcohol-free alternatives. These are often easy to access all over the world!

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