Bali expat life of drinking

Bali expat life of drinking

Many expats in Bali get caught in the Bali expat life of drinking, and drinking, and possibly it is the same throughout Asia, with many people drinking heavily, which in Western societies would be called alcohol addiction.

This is the first of a series of three articles about alcohol drinking in Bali. See the second instalment here; Problem signs of Bali Drinking and the third one, Drying out from booze in Bali

Like to share your experience of your Bali expat life of drinking? Leave your comment at the bottom of this page.

Why does everyone drink so much in Bali?

Well, it is always available. And, this is a big one for me as an Aussie; there are no legal problems associated with drinking and driving. I can have a few drinks or more, and while I feel competent, I can ride my bike home, with no fear of being stopped by police.

Bali is also a place where one sweats a lot, and you feel thirsty, and even as alcohol depletes you of fluids even further, it makes you drink more and more.

Drinking in Bali, is, in the smaller warungs and some bars, quite cheap. Cheap and plentiful, and yet I know that I spend way more on alcohol in Bali than I do in Australia.

Of course that is because I drink way more here, with so many options of apparently fun places to drink at, all night long.

Wine of course is expensive while at some of the more upmarket places cocktails and spirits are more expensive than in the West.

There is also the reality that Bali is a holiday island, and there are thousands of people who come to Bali to let their hair down,which includes going out drinking eery night.

The problem that presents for locals and expats is that we forget that we are not on holiday, that it is normal to be out until 2-3am every night regardless of how that impacts the rest of our lives, including our ability to function in whatever job or project we are involved in, or how our important relationships are affected.

Bali expat life of drinking

When I feel responsible I try and drink a glass of water for every alcoholic drink I consume.

A litre of beer will require 3/4 of a litre of water to maintain body fluids, which are important for brain function as well as for other organs like the liver and kidneys.

I also notice that I drink lots of beer, not so much because I necessarily want to drink so much beer, but because the beer has made me thirsty. Having a glass of water or two salves my thirst and slows my drinking down.

Better for my pocket and certainly better for the next day.

If I happen to be drinking spirits this is magnified.

Of course, for me, with Irish ancestry, I, to paraphrase Shirley MacLaine in ‘Postcards from the Edge‘, ‘am not an alcoholic, I just drink like an Irish person’.

Which is to say I have a problem with knowing when to stop drinking, with having the self control to go home when there is little to be gained by continuing drinking.

And I wake up with a hangover wondering over and over again, why did I do that? Again!

This is the first instalment of Drinking in Bali.

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By Mark O’Brien, February 2014

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