Thursday, March 3, 2011
Celebrating the world's most drunken country - Moldova
I’ve never been to Moldova but in the immortal words of Sheryl Crow the brochure looks nice.
What am I talking about? Even if you were unlucky enough to find a travel agency still open in 2011, you probably won't find any glossy brochures with bikini clad girls drinking Martinis in Moldova.
If there was a brochure you might find a picture of a smelly old sort supping industrial strength vodka from a milk carton on a park bench.
Let's face it, we'd all want a drink if we found ourselves in landlocked gray Moldova, squeezed between the must-visit destinations of Romania and the Ukraine.
And quite a few drinks pass the lips of the Moldovans. Apparently Moldova is the drunkest country in the world, according to the World Health Organization.
Moldovans drink a liver pickling 4.81 gallons per person a year, which apparently averages out to a fair amount because babies aren’t meant to drink, although Moldovan babies probably chug vodka in their formula bottles.
When I first clicked on this link I fully expected Britain to be the most drunken country in the world. Because we always do so badly in the World Cup, we deserve a break. We need to win something. But it seems Britain (notwithstanding the presence of Scotland) is only the 17th most drunken country in the world.
When you've dodged fights and a cascade of projectile vomiting on a night out in Romford, Essex (and that was just the girls) this ranking is frankly hard to believe.
But it seems the Eastern Europeans are cornering the market in heavy drinking, with contries including the Czech Republic, Russia and Hungary also in the top five.
It's certainly no surprise that the United States, which received an honorable mention, did so poorly in this study ending up as only the 56th most drunken country in the world.
I only had to to see the horrified expressions of Americans on a Brits trip to New York I attended more than a decade ago, to realize swaying around on bar stools, holding cigarette lighters in the air, is not the done thing in the USA.
I also have vague memories of the bemusement on the face of the taxi driver as I told him to "hang on a minute" while I tried to get Gareth out of the garbage can.
Cruising down Park Avenue was cool, until we realized we had no idea of the address or location of the apartment we had checked into earlier that day.
"Yeah. It's got a canopy and there was a guy with a hat standing outside," I told the taxi driver.
Apparently Yemen is the least drunken country in the world, coming in at 188th place in the World Health Organization survey.
And a violent uprising is being held there at present.
Who says a drink makes you want to fight?