Editor's note: Again, click on the photo to see it in proper size.
There's not much of a boozer culture in India, which is normal, considering the country is so poor. Those who do make it into the drinking arena are worth a word or two, because there's quite a few of them in England nowadays. I became acquainted with my first Indian friends before I actually went to their country, and the cultural connection between them and the English already made itself evident. They're more used to getting stoned than drunk, but when they do drink, they adopt the same boisterous attitude as the Brits.
And yet, while the English have had thousands of years to develop a refined drinking culture, the Indians have only stumbled into the Westernised drinking ways as of very late. Consequently, they have little or no idea of how to handle things. Indians are very easy to outdrink not because they are bad drinkers, per se. It's just that they're such suckers. I once challenged an Indian to a vodka competition and proceeded to substitute the contents of my own bottle with water, then downing triple and quadruple shots while he struggled to follow. He went down like the walls of Constantinople.
I'm not saying you necessarily have to cheat, to beat an Indian. I only did that because I'd legitimately beaten the daylights out of that same guy on a previous drinking competition, one which ended with me and three other people carrying the fatso to his room over four flights of stairs, and instead of acknowledging defeat, he insisted that he'd *won* it. Like the purpose of the game was to be the first to wipe the floor with your lips. So he was calling for punishment, that guy.
But in general, Indians usually destroy themselves with their own hands by choosing the worst possible conditions to drink. They drink in the wrong order, they can't pace themselves, they never know what they're drinking, and they can't recognise a trap or a feint from a mile away. Hell, I remember on one occasion I got drunk in India, I went around the bar telling people I was a medium who'd come to Mumbai in search of a ghost, and I started 'reading minds' and shit. People actually believed that. I predicted the future of a married couple and they were taking me so seriously that I had to stop. Indians are great fun to drink with, and they're among the most hospitable people in the world, you should only be aware that they're highly polemical. If you beat one (and I don't see how the fuck you could fail to do that), you'll probably hear no end of it for weeks. They'll rave ad infinitum on how they were drinking more than you were, how that night they were having a stomach-ache, how they could kick your ass from here to Neptune and back on a Rikshaw, and so on. The solution to this is not that hard, thankfully. Just challenge them and beat them again. Eventually they'll learn to shut the fuck up.
Besides, showing a little wisdom really is in your best interest, because you could hurt yourself if you just play by their rules. I remember on another occasion in Goa we almost fucking killed ourselves by diluting a bottle of whisky into plastic glasses of water, then getting stoned and finally going to sleep in a room with the air-conditioning on. I almost went into hybernation when the temperature outside was 42 degrees Celsius in the shade, if I hadn't woken up twice for an impelling need to vomit, I probably wouldn't be here writing these lines now.
There is no strategy required to beating an Indian. Just start drinking, and watch them stumble on their own idiocies. In a few hundred years they may be proper challengers.
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