In Ecuador it's a different story. Alcohol is more taboo, for example it is illegal to buy it from the shops on a Sunday (although most small tiendas will sell you a couple of beers, when you're desperate). The middle-classes do not drink like they do in England and there is very little wine culture. Of course there is plenty of drinking and at the fiestas there is almost a self-destructive element to it. It's not uncommon to see people lying in the street, paralytic.
|There's nothing like a good, long soak|
How I missed the pub when I was in Ecuador. Of course Ecuador has pubs of a sort... but not really. Pubs in Ecuador mean a soulless room where you can buy bottles of lager. Lucy once translated them as 'beer shops', which is completely accurate.
George Orwell wrote an essay on the perfect pub, he calls it The Moon Under Water. It's my perfect pub too. Here's a few of his thoughts:
"To begin with, its whole architecture and fittings are uncompromisingly Victorian. It has no glass-topped tables or other modern miseries, and, on the other hand, no sham roof-beams, ingle-nooks or plastic panels masquerading as oak. The grained woodwork, the ornamental mirrors behind the bar, the cast-iron fireplaces, the florid ceiling stained dark yellow by tobacco-smoke, the stuffed bull’s head over the mantelpiece — everything has the solid, comfortable ugliness of the nineteenth century. In winter there is generally a good fire burning in at least two of the bars, and the Victorian lay-out of the place gives one plenty of elbow-room. In the it is always quiet enough to talk. The house possesses neither a radio nor a piano, and even on Christmas Eve and such occasions the singing that happens is of a decorous kind.