To my exit from this country, I have to say it's a sad moment I am welcoming and thanking for its capacity and assurance to shock my system. I love being knowledgeable enough to say "Excuse me, could I have a beer, please?" From here on out, there's no hope. I can't even use my limited Tamil. From here on out, I'm an ignorant traveler. I won't know a lick of the insults and bad mouthing aimed at my turned back, and I think I'll have to recreate the Italian streets wherever I go.
I never could decide on one universal thing to do/see/buy during SAS, a nice material or photographic common denominator. I think it all sounded too showy and untrue to me. What a chore to find something similar in each country, continent, ugh. HOWEVER, my long-term goal of opening a neighborhood watering hole (chocked full of character, of course) has given me a mission to feel no shame in spending incredible amounts of time in bars. One needn't worry about any sort of "addiction" forming or possible vulnerable situations presenting themselves...I'm here to subtly participate and observe. During the day, these establishments seem like dark holes where dirty deeds go down. At night, we flock and hop to all within 10 blocks like moths to the neon Red Bull signs. Things are a little different in each country, and it gets more specific as you chop it up into cities. Florence is for imbibing...at all hours of the day. Romans enjoy a cold beer with their afternoon read, though if I apply my own reasoning on them, they're just utilizing some free AC in this 100•F+ weather. Croatians need no excuse; they will enjoy a beer at a bar any old time they please. And I mean that. 6 AM. Beers at a cafe. Unreal. Prague was all about the casual drink with friends...only a little, one or two maybe. What an ambiance, though. Maybe we were spoiled by a one Miss Huny Buny. Munich...if you weren't clinking liters, you weren't a part of the crowd. It's always beer o'clock in Germany, but I think I realized why everything is so clean and new there...price per pint. The Ukraine...ai yai yai. As soon as the bartenders talk to you, you're aware of the countries priorities. Drinking, smoking, and not smiling...which urges on more drinking. I could deal with the anti-hospitality thanks to the non-existent beer prices, though. Europe may be the last of my authentic bar experiences as Africa may not offer such accessible alcohol [HA!]. However, the Dragoman adventure includes an almost daily visit to the camp site bar. This is all research, pleasurable research for my future business ventures. How many places can be considered both a hell hole and an oasis? And since I just decided I find great happiness and thrill in doing what I shouldn't, what better way to solidify my existence by creating a place where even the most conscientious person can make an uncharacteristic decision, hopefully not to the detriment of their integrity. Of course not.
And so goes my opinion on bars. That's all I have to say a out that.