Drinking – Galician Style

Sunday, April 20th 2003 – Here is a little account of last night.

After eating more beautiful Galician food (this time pig’s head and snout) , Maria and her friends decided to show me a little bit of Vigo’s nightlife.

First stop “La Escalera” – a former underground parking lot converted into a pub/chill out place/games room. It had that dingy feel and I was somewhat surprised to see the elite Hilfilger crowd mixing as well.

The place was full of people and they have implemented a great system designed to knock your tits off. 7€ = 5 minibar bottles of Whisky (5omls) and coke. Adorning the room were 3 pool tables and at least 10 table footballs. My superb futboline skills have evaporated with the passing of time. I have also introduced the “skulling game” here to Spain where it appears to be a relatively novel idea. Unfortunately, María´s 15 year old sister Carla seemed to be the biggest advocate of the fledgling sport. And although María tried to keep an iron hand, her sister drank on the sly and came out as the fastest drinker, eclipsing my above average standards. After a Super 5 each (previously mentioned) and some games of futbolines, we left for the next bar and… chupitos. (For those who are unaware, chupito = shot, and a chupiteria is a bar based solely around the premise of serving as many shots as cheaply as possible to as many as possible as quickly as possible).

Now these Vigueses have brilliant ideas!! At the next bar we bought 25 shots for only 15€. Starting off with suave, then downing 2 tequilas and then to cap off the 6 shot punishment a chupito of “vodka, whisky and rum”. Manu, a friend of the girls, is physically unable to swallow the shots in one go and he takes each one into his cheeks, swills it around as though sampling a fine wine and then swallows. Each shot takes two swigs and I imagine that the last shot would´ve been possibly the worst taste he (and we) will ever have to face. ( I pocketed the shot glass as a memento of the most foul shot that is known to the human species). And keep in mind that María´s (still 15 year old) sister was with the crew and… well you get the idea.

Another club, both sisters well and truly smashed, falling down – well a sad state of affairs (we still had the task of sneaking Carla into bed without the parents finding out). During the taxi-ride home (and unbeknownst to the cabbie) Carla vomits with persistent regularity out of the window. I can feel the night getting better….oh yeah.

We pull up and Carla passes out on the sidewalk, vomits a bit and then wants to sleep. Then it starts to rain. I piggy back her some 10 metres and she hops off, vomits again and passes out once more. Her dry retching resembles a pig with its throat freshly slit as it “wheeks” away the last of its life. Anyways, after a long struggle, including more than one flight of stairs, we get her to the front door. After clearing the the way I make a dash with Carla in my arms for the bed; halfway there she disembarks, runs to the toilet and continues “wheeking” madly. Mum wakes up.

María who is just as drunk as her sister seems to react by simply embracing hysteria and laughing uncontrollably. As the mother comes roaring out of the bedroom I can hear María´s “It´s not my fault ” and I grab the keys and make for the relative safety of the stairwell as I know dad will soon wake up as well (and that´s what I´m more afraid of). A few minutes later María emerges, “everything´s ok, my mother just wants to thank you”. I walk in and receive the thanks and motherings as Carla lays sprawled naked in the bed, ranting “I don´t want more alcohol, stop moving so much”. I try and help María by taking some of the blame, saying I bought Carla a shot of Tequila which must have reacted with her stomach. María´s mother simply inquires, “what´s tequila?”

And so the night ends with María´s mother offering me food, whilst giving thanks for anything that comes across her mind. The father takes medication to sleep and so fortunately couldn´t stay awake long enough to get angry at anybody. I think if I had´ve known it would be this easy, I would just have rung the doorbell and bodly announced our arrival. In some perturbing way, the night transformed from a worst nightmare into a Brady-bunch-esque sequence of events. And as the music starts to play and the credits roll I tottle off to bed, keeping the light on as the world is still spinning way too much for my liking…and with that, our little adventure ends.

“Chupito Jim”

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