On Swedes' odd relationship with booze...

Have been thinking a lot about our night time social lives during covid.

In the north, booze plays a big part in it for a lot of people… It’s rare to find a social gathering after 6pm, with the exception of working out/sports, that does not involve consuming alcohol. At the same time there is a state monopoly on sale of alcohol, you cannot legally buy it anywhere outside a bar or restaurant after 8 pm.

It’s a pity Mattias Svensson’s books aren’t available in English. Here’s a review, also in Swedish, but online so you can translate in your browser:

What’s it like where you live and why?

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California has 24 hour liquor stores. I live in an area that gets a fair number of tourists. They tend to be the ones who don’t respect the covid restrictions and thus make it harder for any bar or grill business to stay open. Now getting cold so nothing outside. My wine merchant cousin assures me that wine sales are still quite healthy…just not in bars or restaurants.

This is true of everywhere I have lived, from the UK to Italy.

I am 100% teetotal right now. My experience is that you can very well join in the drinking with a glass of non-alcoholic drink in your hand, and that almost always alcohol-free alternatives are available. But yes, people will assume that everyone is drinking it.

I have been too since August 1st and staying that way for at least another 3 months. I’ve had the same experience - it’s not been too hard to participate without drinking. At least not in my circles.