(It looks like beer, it smells like beer and the people are drinking as it is beer but certainly it is not beer. Great stuff from Holland!)
Iran, I guess is the second country that I have been to without any drop of cold beer. Brunei was the other country although I could have brought a crate of beer after declaring to the customs. Interestingly there are plenty of non-alcoholic drinks from local and European breweries to choose from here.
And the drinks which come in many colourful can also come in many flavours – plain, lemon, apple, etc. And here is one part of the drinking “style” that I found very peculiar in a country who not only allows anyone to beer in the open but also bans the sales of beer – that the non-alcoholic drink is served in the same nature of serving alcoholic beer – in an iced beer mug.
Malaysia certainly is the best to be drinking beer although these times beer is not cheap. I say it is the best because very rarely I drink alone – there are always friends, colleagues or cousins who are more than willing to be my beer-drinking buddies. The thing is I have cut down a lot on drinking beer – one is for slowing down the ever-growing tummy and another is due to the fact that beer in Malaysia is not cheap.
The day when I can say that “beer is cheaper than water” to my Aussie friend is a far, far away.
Ghana is one country where beer was kind of free-flow. It is cheaper but was more diluted as well. One needs to drink 2 large bottles of lager before one can feel the drunkenness a distance away. Perhaps we Malaysians are so used of having heavier content alcohol in our beers that when we are in Ghana, the local beers almost tasted like water.
It was indeed diluted. But the locals usually can get drunk with just one small bottle – one of those unexplained funny paradoxes that I encountered when I travelled abroad.
For now, I had to do with non-alcoholic lemon flavour drink as my nearest replacement for a good old mug of cold beer, at least until the next round of beer drinking session with friends and cousins.