I know I'm walking on dangerous ground and I wouldn't dare to deny that alcohol is the cause of many serious problems. But to most people, when taken moderately, it can be the source of fun and laughter. As yesterday. I came from Garibaldi to a previously arranged meeting at Simon's . More people were supposed to go, but in the end it was only Alan and me.
Simon is an Irish guy who came to Porto Alegre and married a beautiful local girl - and he opened the one and truly Irish pub in Porto Alegre. It's called Shamrock, it's got all the atmosphere of a real pub and you can drink draught Guinness! We didn't, mind you, it was too hot for such a delicacy, but we did have delicious beer, which is produced right here in Rio Grande do Sul. The beer is Slava and the brewery is Cervejaria Abadessa. Wonderful stuff. I'm wondering how far Pareci Novo is from Porto Alegre.
But I digress. I meant to talk about drinking habits. That's something over which both Alan and I (Alan and me??? Alan, help!!!) agree: Brazilians in general don't see drinking as part of the "cesta básica". I know people who don't drink a drop during the week, because it's working time, and then drink enourmous amount of anything with alcohol during the weekend.
My mother's parents were both children of Italian immigrants and for me, like for most people in the Italian region of Rio Grande do Sul, a daily bottle of wine on the table was as common as a bottle of water. Yes, sure, we kids would only drink it with water and sugar, but to my grandfather it was mandatory. It took me sometime to return to the habit, but nowadays wine is indeed part of our "cesta básica" - a meal is not complete without wine.