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Evening With Friends

Early evening conversation with friends and relatives starts over with a bottle of cheap local brandy or a bottle of gin. Without shopping malls or movie houses to spend a day, people turn to drinking as pastime. In fact, we have the highest per capita consumption of gin in the whole country and perhaps still unsurpassed to this day.

Occasional drinking is alright, because we would often have a grilled tuna, pork or a boiled native chicken in lemon grass with plenty of green papayas to absorb and wash down the alcohol in our system. On one hand there are habitual drinkers would just settle for a pinch of table salt or lemon to neutralize the liquor's after taste. Alcohol related deaths and diseases is prevalent island wide, yet no significant decline among the heavy drinkers.

After a couple of shots, discussion would start from mundane to the senseless topic, like local politics, gossips and at times ends-up with a shouting match or worse a bare fist match. But there are locals who prefer to sing while in state of intoxication, and its not unusual to hear one singing out of tune. Funny at times, but, I became choosy with to whom I'll drink with.

Drinking is not just a pastime here, but a way to drive a young man's heart to his ladylove. Indeed, most couples here were courted by their husband intoxicated by liquor and perhaps the probable cause of failed national family planning program. They lost control of everything.

I remember one time about the analogy of drinking alcohol and attending a Sunday mass, it is said that both activities equates to a temporal bliss.

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