The weekend plan that wasn’t

Well, Seattle was a bit of a bust this weekend. Aside from nearly being driven off the interstate a few times by stupid people (they are all around me, I swear!), the rain made driving this side of hellacious and the weekend ended with me fighting yet another cold. The one bright spot was socializing with my friend and her neighbours on Saturday afternoon.

Apparently, the guy who lives across the street from her makes beer as a hobby (they also drink a lot of it – no surprise there). He introduced me to one of the bitterest beers I have ever encountered. Well, that’s not really saying much because I don’t drink a lot of beer. All I know is Red Stripe and every beer out there must live up to that standard or I ain’t drinking it. Mostly, American beers make me want to just drink water instead – far more tasty. This beer was flavour-a-mighty. Even with the bitterness that makes you think you’d just sprayed your mouth with something nasty. The bitterness kind of grew on me and I realised that after the initial bitterness, the flavour kind of just settled in.

I had always thought that beer is supposed to be a melding of flavours, but apparently, bitterness is a key feature of beer. This explains why people think Heineken is better than Red Stripe because Heineken has a far more bitter taste. Despite what the truth of the matter is, I still think Red Stripe is a beautiful blend of all the flavours – at least when you get the one that isn’t watered down for exportation. In any case, Heineken and Red Stripe are lager beers. That sets them apart from the beer family automatically, apparently. I don’t know much about the subject, and I don’t much care to – I just found these little bits of information fascinating.

The biggest thing about this beer, though, wasn’t so much the taste as how it crept up on me and smacked me upside the head. Traditionally, I nurse my drinks especially if I think I might be drinking for a while. I know my limits and I try to stick within them. This means, an evening that looks like it’s going to last a few hours requires me to spread 2 to 3 drinks over the duration. In the long run, it didn’t matter because just at the point when the bartender usually asks if I want a refill, the beer slammed into me with a vengeance. One minute I was fine, the next minute I was tipsy. That has never happened to me before, at least not without some guzzling on my part.

I took my hint and stopped drinking immediately. If just one glass of beer spread out over the course of an hour or two could do that, then there was no telling what else would happen had I continued. The impromptu party was beginning to wind down anyway. Which reminds me – these people gather for impromptu parties all the time, my friend tells me. It’s like the neighbours look out their windows and see one family out and they all come out to chat. Something Americans probably find fascinating, but something that we Jamaicans are perfectly well aware of – aren’t we my fellow yaadies?

Well, it’s Monday and I’ve got a ton of work to get through today – so I’m off. Have a productive Monday all.