Tue, 10 May 2005, 11:44
I went to Paris last week to attend the Les Blogs Conference -- I'm a lucky brat, I know -- and it was quite a trip. Here's me drinking coffee. I had lived in Paris and been a student there and worked there and been to events there -- all when I was drinking.
So this was the first time ever ... let me think, yes, it was ... the first time ever in Paris "sans vin" -- without wine or beer or liquor.
And the truth of it is, their incredible food is better with wine. The way they live and the way they eat, it's very hard not to drink wine with both lunch and dinner. (Although I did notice many of my French friends aren't taking the long lunches they used to and aren't drinking at lunch.)
Here's a bunch of us eating dinner in a restaurant that featured the wines and foods of the Southwest of France -- especially Cahors wine, which was one of my favorites. There I am, feeling a little odd not drinking.
But I didn't have a drop, during the whole trip. And if you think it's hard when you don't drink around friends and family who want you to join in, when you're here in America ... try it in France. You begin to feel like a criminal. It's practically a national insult, not to drink their wine with their food. .
Actually, of all the time I spent there (only about 5 days), I visited a family in the country for the first 2 days -- the parents of a good friend of mine -- and I missed drinking wine with THEM more than with my conference friends, because my friend's mother is such a terrific cook and made wonderful meals that would have been even better with wine.
Was it hard? A bit, yes. But, also, with horrific jetlag, I would have been instantly asleep every meal if I'd had even a thimbleful of the stuff.
Link: We Quit Drinking: Paris Sans Vin.
Link: We Quit Drinking: Paris Sans Vin. After several 24 hours of not drinking, I have noticed that most people who drink don't notice whether I am drinking or not! You have a great thing going, hang in there!
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Wow, that's an incredible story. I don't know how you did it. I guess it's the kind of situation I fear most. I hope I can have that kind of strength when I am confronted with it (Thanksgiving, no doubt).