Geroskipou Beer Festival

I came across the announcement for the Geroskipou Beer Festival somewhere in my Facebook stream.  Being a big (literally) fan of beer, I couldn’t not post it.  Even with the heavy heart after all the previous beer festivals I’ve been to in Cyprus.  This one seems to follow the general pattern: 5 EUR entrance buys you one beer.  You’ll pay for the rest, and there are about 40 different ones to taste.

As these festivals usually go, you’d probably overpay for the beers, and the variety won’t really be of 40 different brands.  Judging from previous experiences, small can of Keo, large can of Keo, small bottle of Keo, large bottle of Keo, and a draught Keo – are five different varieties and not one.  Heck, I’m not even sure I can list 40 different brands even if I’ll remember all the beers I ever drank or saw on sale in Cyprus!

Just for the fun of it, I’ll try .  First of all, the local ones, obviously: Keo, Carlsberg, and Leon.  Mythos from Greece.  Then the usual suspects: Hoegaarden, Guinness, Krombacher, Stella Artois, Warsteiner, Veltins, Heineken, Beck’s, Budweiser, Pilsner Urquell.  Then slightly less usual suspects: Kilkenny, Caffreys, Erdinger, Konig Ludwig and Konig Ludwig Dunkel, Weissbier, Franziskaner, Amstel, Grolsch, Fosters and Bavaria.  Then a few Belgian beers: Blanche, Duvel, Kwak, Leffe (blonde, dark, and red), Chimay. A touch of Mexico with Corona and Sol. Ciders, although not technically beers, are almost always present at beer festivals – Magners, Strongbow, Woodbecker and Somersby.

How many are these? 38.  Throw in a couple of non-alcoholic names that I don’t know, a coupe of Asian (Chinese and Japanese names that I cannot remember), and, just to get rid of any doubts, a couple of nice ones from Bavarian Delikatessen shop – those names are tough even for Bavarians.  There you go – 40 or so varieties.  Now, can you imagine all of them in one place?  I can’t.   Not even in supermarkets which offer a great variety these days.

Somehow, the more I think about this festival, the more I think it’ll be like the others.  What do you think?  Is it worth driving all they way over to Geroskipou just to get the same beers you can get in any Limassol pub or supermarket?

Police enforce new drink and speeding regulations

Police enforce new drink and speeding regulations

THE POLICE have started issuing on-the-spot fines for speeding and drinking offences this week implementing a law that empowers the police to immediately punish offenders, the head of traffic police Demetris Demetriou said yesterday.

“Now we’ve got immediate sentences rather than sentences in court after two years,” Demetriou said.

For drinking under the influence of alcohol, the police will issue on-the-spot fines and/or penalty points to anyone whose breath test registers up to 70 micrograms per 100 ml. The limit is 22mg/dL.

The fines are €100 for up to 35mg/dL; €200 and two penalty points for between 36mg/dL and 55mg/dL; €300 and three penalty points for between 56 mg/dL and 70mg/dL.

Anyone reading over 70mg/dL will go to court and could get six penalty points, a fine of up to €400 and at least €150, and/or a jail sentence.

Drivers will also be issued on-the-spot fines and will be punished with €1.0 for each kilometre per hour when they have exceeded the limit by up to 30 per cent.

When driving between 31 per cent and 50 per cent faster than the limit, drivers will pay €2.0 per km/h and two penalty points.

Driving between 51 per cent and 75 per cent faster than the limit is punishable costs €3.0 per km/h and three penalty points.

Drink more alcohol to save the environment!

While browsing through the news articles from a few days ago, I noticed two separate items from Cyprus Mail newspaper.  These articles weren’t linked or related in any way, but in my news reader they came up right next to each other, and I think the connection is obvious.

The first article was about Cypriots drinking less alcohol than their European Union peers:

CYPRUS has among the lowest consumption of alcohol per capita in the EU but when it comes to those who do like a tipple, binge drinking is quite prevalent.

According to a report released yesterday on alcohol in the EU, compiled by the World Health Organsiation (WHO), Cypriot alcohol consumption stands at 9.3 litres per capita compared to the EU average of 12.4. Malta came in at the lowest with 8.1 litres per capita, Greece with 10.5 and the UK with 12.5.

The second article was about Cypriots producing more junk than anyone else in Europe.

CYPRUS has again topped the list in Europe as generators of the most household waste with 760kg per person on average.

In the EU27, 502 kg of municipal waste was generated per person in 2010, while 486 kg of municipal waste was treated per person. This municipal waste was treated in different ways3: 38 per cent was landfilled, 22 per cent incinerated, 25 per cent recycled and 15 per cent composted.

The amount of municipal waste generated varies significantly across member states. Cyprus, with 760 kg per person, had the highest amount of waste generated in 2010, followed by Luxembourg, Denmark and Ireland with values between 600kg and 700 kg per person, and the Netherlands, Malta, Austria, Germany, Spain, France, Italy, the United Kingdom and Portugal with values between 500kg and 600kg.

Finland, Belgium, Sweden, Greece, Slovenia, Hungary and Bulgaria had values between 400kg and 500kg, while values of below 400kg per person were recorded in Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Poland, Estonia and Latvia.

There!  I think there is enough data to support the theory of solving the environmental crisis with alcohol consumption.  Now all I need is a government grant to do some extensive drinking research.

78 pints of Guiness

This blog (in Greek) shares a receipt from some Irish pub, where people had quite a party.  The total amount is in Norwegian krone (NOK), which translates to about 2,555 EUR.  But it’s not the total amount that is interesting here.  Rather the list of drinks.  In particular – 78 pints of Guiness.

What does that remind me of?  The 99 bottles of beer song.

The origin of toasts

Yesterday I heard the story of toasting origins.  It sounded interesting, but somewhat unrealistic.  It turned out to be true:

The practice of toasting originated in Ancient Greece, at a time when fear of poisoning was a significant concern. To put guests at ease, the host would pour the guests’ wine from a common decanter, take the first drink to demonstrate its safety, then raise his cup to the guests and invite them to drink in good health.

Racism is like alcoholism

I’ve been thinking a lot about racism recently. Again.

One of the interesting thoughts that went through my head was that racism is a lot like alcoholism. It is a desease that needs to be cured. There are many stages, like in alcoholism – from very passive to very violent. And curing racism should probably start from the same point as curing alcoholism – realization of the problem. Like an alcholic should say to himself that he is an alcoholic, a racist should say to himself that he is a racist.

That last thing is, of course, a hard one to do.

There are just so many excuses for both racism and alcoholism, and there is so little information about both of those problems. Most people would agree that both alcoholism and racism are bad things. Realizing though that you are a racist or an alcoholic is difficult, because you try to be good so hard. You need extra proof. You have to be convinced that there is something bad about you. And all the information out there is so general and so remote. It’s not about yourself. It’s about those bad guys. You don’t go around drunk breaking things or killing black people. You are not an alcoholic. You are not a racist. No way.

There do exist many organizations that help alcoholics, Alcoholics Anonymous being the most famous one. There are clinics. There are doctors. There are pills. There are chapters in psychology books.

But I haven’t heard of Racist Anonymous. Yet.

Preventing hangovers

Curing hangovers is one of the most popular issues to talk and read about ever. I did my part of the research too, but it was as helpful as for everyone else. The fact is, if you’ve got yourself a nice hangover, there isn’t much you can do to get rid of it. You can make it slightly easier on you, by choosing to follow one of the billion advices.

Luckily, I found something better. In stead fighting the hangover, I simply prevent it. It turned out to work much better, and simplier too. How do I do it? Two simple steps.

  1. Try not to mix different drinks. If there is no choice, than always drink the stronger one next. In other words – if you have to drink both beer and vodka, than drink beer first, and than follow it up with vodka. This way you won’t get as drunk, and you won’t have as terrible of the hangover in the morning. But this step is a minor one compared to the next.
  2. Drink lots (and I really mean LOTS) of water before going to bed. The more water you drink, the better you will feel in the morning. Dihydration is the main component of the hangover, and you can’t fix it while you’re sleeping. So, just take care of it before you go to sleep, and the water you drank will last you through the night.

That’s it. These are basically the only two things I care about when I drink alcohol. And I haven’t had a hangover in years now. Except that one time, when I didn’t have any water before falling in bed. And that was one of the most horrible days of my life.

Yesterday, I had more than half a litter of vodka (with friends and food). When I came back home, I think I drank up the whole plastic bottle (1.5L) of water. Five hours later when I went for a walk with Maxim, I didn’t feel a thing. Like I wasn’t even drinking the day before. It was so good that it actually felt weird.

Adult thing to do

More and more often I am getting reminders that I am an adult and should act like one. Having been childish on my life (and enjoying that too) acting like an adult is tough for me. Even when I do it just to make fun of it.

Anyway, I was thinking over some things that I, trying to find a way to substitute one or another with an adult alternative. And I guess I found at least one.

Drunk driving no more. If I can predict that I’ll be drinking anything more than a glass of mine or a pint of beer – I’ll take a cab from now on.

And I did it today. I knew that I’ll have some vodka with friends in the evening, so I just called in for a taxi and it took me where I wanted to go. About eight hours later I called for another one, and it took me back home. I have to say that it felt good. It was better than I expected. Not only I wasn’t streetracing my way back home intoxicated, but I didn’t even have to think about if I was still capable of driving while drinking. I was totally focused on vodka and on having good time. And guess what – I had much more of both than I usually get while having considerations about getting back home. There is a minor price tag on that though, but I can manage.

In fact, I liked it so much that I’ll do it regularly from now on. And I recommend you do the same.