“If it weren’t for the booze we should all go mad and kill each other”

For the post title, I’ve taken slight liberties with a passage from George Orwell’s “Burmese Days“:

“It’s a tradition to booze together and swap meals and pretend to be friends, though we all hate each other like poison. Hanging together, we call it. It’s a political necessity. Of course drink is what keeps the machine going. We should all go mad and kill one another in a week if it weren’t for that. … Booze as the cement of empire.”

This is yet another dark quote on expat life from the novel’s 1920s English teak trader, Flory, who remains aloof in a very small, provincial expat community. (See here for another of his bleak, but foresightful, quotes.)

Very young me happy to be out of Utah, drinking beer somewhere in India.

I drink, but raised in rather dry Utah, it’s taken me years to see alcohol as a normal part of life. Expats drink a lot and seeing the quantities consumed has been eye-opening. But then again, do I mean expats generally, or British expats more particularly? I’m not sure myself.

Cheers! 干杯!

4 responses to ““If it weren’t for the booze we should all go mad and kill each other”

  1. Haha! Well, as a friend of mine (an Australian expat in Amsterdam) always says: There is no situation that bad that it wouldn’t get better by drinking champagne. I have reassessed her wisdom over the years and have to say: Spot on!
    Cheers from Mexico to China!

  2. I’ll certainly need a drink or two this week: nursing two kids through jet lag while also looking for a place to live! Loved your post on searching for invoices/bills in Mexico.

    • Geez, that sounds like a lot on your plate right now! Yes, I agree, you deserve at least a drink or two! thanks for visiting and following my blog!

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