The Real Alcoholics are in San Francisco

moscow downtownRussians have been traditionally known to be heavy drinker and alcoholics and they are still used as an example of excessive drinkers. You might be really surprised, however, by how difficult it would be for you to find an intoxicated person in Moscow. You might not be able to find even one.

Interestingly, there is no happy hour scene. Going to a bar after work is just not something that people do. I am sure some drink a lot at home or at parties, but you are not going to see people getting drunk while talking about nothing, like you would all over in SF on any given day from 5:30 forward. Just pick any Irish bar in town and go there to see the local “professionals” get inebriated while pretending to be interested in each others’ conversation.

Also, wondering all around Moscow, you are not going to find an area where you can see people act silly due to being drunk (i.e. yelling, singing, puking the Marina/Mission/Haight style).

I can imagine that one of the reasons that Moscow is so seemingly low on drinking (I am sure the situation is quite different in other regions of the Russian Federation) is because a city this expensive has no sympathy for those who don’t make the most out of their time and their energy. If you have to pay $7-$8 for a cup of coffee, you better be “on” all the time. San Francisco is quite a bit more lenient that way.


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