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I Have A Drinking Problem

But it’s not the kind you probably imagine.

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RHODES, Greece- I informed my wife today that over the period of one week I had single-handedly cleared the supermarket out of 500ml bottles of Mythos beer.

“You should be proud,” she commented sarcastically.

I kind of was. This is quite the accomplishment, as Mythos is one of the staple Greek mass-production beers, and the equivalent of my deed in the USA would have been doing the same to a stock of Budweiser.

I think I have a drinking problem.

I have a drinking problem but not an alcohol problem.

Let me explain.

When I wake up at 4:30 am I pour myself a cup of coffee. I have a second cup at 6:30, a third cup at 8:00, a fourth cup at 10:00, and sometimes even a fifth cup after lunch.

Around noon I crack open my first beer, which preferably comes in a 500 ml bottle. I have a second beer around 14:00 and a third around 17:00.

After dinner I pour myself a cup of herbal tea … and then keep pouring until I go to bed.

This is ridiculous, I know. There is no reason why someone should be drinking so much.

However, while I will readily admit that coffee focuses my attention and beer calms my nerves, I do not believe that it is the substance that is the attraction here. As much as I would love to be romantic about coffee and beer I do not believe that this would be accurate. It’s more the process of drinking that’s the appeal.

I believe that the mind works better when the body is in motion. Walking is the ultimate engine for creativity. However, walking and writing just doesn’t splice. So to supplement for my lack of physical movement — I sit at a desk for hours and hours each day — I believe I use the motion of drinking.

I have a rhythm when I write. I type out a few lines with flare and fury and then I lean back in my chair. On the lean-back I reach for my drink and take a slug just as my back hits the chair. I then hold the cup or bottle in my hand for a while, stare at the screen or out the window, and I talk to myself, narrating various versions of what will come to the screen. Once I nail it I fling myself back towards my desk, slam down my drink, and rattle out a few more lines.

It’s just how this works.

I don’t know what I look like when I write, but I imagine it’s something bordering on madness.


Filed under: Drink Drank Drunk, Travel Diary

About the Author:

I am the founder and editor of Vagabond Journey. I’ve been traveling the world since 1999, through 90 countries. I am the author of the book, Ghost Cities of China and have written for The Guardian, Forbes, Bloomberg, The Diplomat, the South China Morning Post, and other publications. has written 3691 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

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VBJ is currently in: Trenton, Maine

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