Yesterday, after the zen-practice session in Kamakura, I dropped in at the press club in Tokyo to work in the bar/restaurant area while listening to the live music as I do almost every Satuday afternoon/evenin. I arrived at around 5:30 pm, and I drunk Coke as usual. I drink Coke until some of my friends or familiar faces arrive.
Reason? That's because "I hate alcohol now". When I had a drink or more, it was when I was offerred or pressured to drink by my friend(s), or when I have to entertain others.
But when more of my friends show up, I usually switch to non-alcohol beer to cope with the peer pressure. Most people even do not realize that I am drinking non-alcohol beer but think I am drinking a usual beer just like others in the venue.
The quality and taste of non-alcohol beer in Japan has been dramatically improved over the past 1-2 years, and more people are switching to it. It is difficult to switch at the beginning, but a few tries, you will get accustomed soon. My suggestion is to try non-alcohol beer in the daytime (e.g., during the lunch or after work) in summer after working or playing under the sun. When you are dehydrated, even non-alcohol beer tastes much better, and it does not have a dehydration effect as alcohol has. A few yeas ago, I started to love non-alcohol beer when I started to drink it in early evening (before sunset) after a sweaty fieldwork in a volcanic island in summer. As I was driving, I could not drink ordinary beer but non-alcoholic one. But it still tastes great and refreshing, after a lot of fieldwork under then sun all day long.
I had a similar experience a decade ago when I was doing a fieldwork in Saudi Arabia. I was working in a multinational science team made of European, American, and Saudi nationals then to do a geological survey in the remote desert. At the end of the fieldwork, we got non-alcohol beers out of the cooler in the 4x4 vechicles, and we drunk them together by looking at sunset in the desert. Saudi has so many kinds of non-alcohol beer, but they tend to be too sweet to me. To me, non-alcohol beer of Japan or Germany taste better, as they are not sweet and tastes much more similar to ordinary beer.
One of the advantange of switching to non-alcohol beer is, of course, higher focus. So this evening I finished lots of work while listening to the live music.
Just before the bar close, one of the bar men strongly recommended me to order more food (I had a light dinner already soon after I arrived here). This is another peer pressure, isn't it? So I went healthy, and had a cut fruit (Papaya). I used to order a piece of cheese cake, apple pie (with ice cream) or other desserts when I was asked to order more. But I stick to a cut fruit to stay healthy. This is another peer pressure I have to handle with.
Posted on Sunday 15 July 2012