I'll be spending all day Sunday on a train to Brno, Czech Republic, and then staying there for a week. I'm equal parts looking forward to this and dreading it. It's a work trip, and while I like my team and enjoy Brno, I don't like leaving my bird alone for long stretches like this. My friend Alison told me she'd look in on him from time to time, so at least he'll get fresh water and know he hasn't been completely abandoned.
The other thing I'm bracing myself for is the heavy drinking my team always indulges in during these trips. I wish I could excise these events from my timeline. To be clear, no one is putting a tube down my throat and forcing booze into my stomach, but it would also be socially awkward to get through the night without imbibing.
I have already witnessed a colleague here try to put up a fight and drink sparkling water, only to cave two hours in and get trashed with the rest of us.
It's not easy being a teetotaler in Berlin. When I quit drinking for several months back in 2012 I remember everyone making the quiet assumption that I was pregnant.
I'm going to get some alcohol-free wine and bring it along. No one will be the wiser, and that way I can avoid the peer pressure and weirdness. And slipping out after the third drink when everyone's mind starts to get fuzzy is also a strategy I intend to employ.