We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Who paid for this umbrella, exactly?


Bourgas, Bulgaria.

Hmmm.. “As the relationship between alcohol and health is a complex one and drinking patterns can differ significantly between countries, our strong recommendation to you is to go to your national website where the information provided is relevant to your own national drinking context and in your own language”.

I think that translates as something like “The peoples of Europe are about as likely to agree on what responsible drinking actually consists of as they are to levitate spontaneously to Venus, or to save the euro”.

Do drinking contexts have to be national? (Of course not. In my experience, international drinking contexts are often the best). Can I have my own personal drinking context?

Nannying is universal, however. As is the fact that Flash websites suck.

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6 comments to Who paid for this umbrella, exactly?

  • Laird

    If this is in Bulgaria, why are the messages on the umbrella in English? Is it directed solely at tourists?

  • I went off looking for a country that would allow me to drink more, but disappointingly all the ones I checked use the WHO numbers of maximum 4 units per day.

    In Italy, I don’t need to worry, because:

    In Italy, unlike in the Anglo-Saxon countries and northern Europe, the culture of drinking is traditionally moderate and bound the rituals of the meal or social atmosphere.

    In the UK: “Drink spritzers if you like wine”. Really?

  • Laird: it is fairly normal to use a lot of (written and spoken) English in advertising, regardless of the location. This is particularly the case in Europe, but is pretty common in Africa and Asia as well. I think the intention is to look international and sophisticated, as well as there being an assumption that the younger and richer demographic that you are aiming at will speak at least some English. And the writing on the umbrella is basically advertising, with the advertiser also trying to present its message of being a sensible and responsible company, despite the fact that they are selling vodka. (Also, producing different umbrellas for 20 different countries is too big a hassle).

    That said, you do actually get many English speaking tourists on the Bulgarian Black Sea coast. There are cheap flights from Britain, Ireland, and various other places, everything costs half as much as it does in Spain, and when you get there you discover that the food is good and that it is a nice place – mixture of modern seaside tourism, old towns, and some wonderful historical sites.

    That said,

  • Agammamon

    “As the relationship between alcohol and health is a complex one and drinking patterns can differ significantly between countries, our strong recommendation to you is to go to your national website where the information provided is relevant to your own national drinking context and in your own language”.

    So are they saying that if I want to drink a lot I should drink a lot and then once I’m used to drinking a lot it will no longer be dangerous for me to drink a lot?
    Unlike now where I don’t drink a lot and so having 4 *units* would be dangerous to me.

  • What I’m a little confused about is do you use the site for the country you’re currently in, or the site for the country you live in, or the site for the country you where born in?

    Take someone who was born in France, moved to England at around five and lived there until they grew up, has spent the last two years in Italy, and is now holidaying in Germany. Do they have to look at all four sites, and if the sites disagree how do they decide which one to follow?

  • Paul Marks

    Governments are always finding new ways to waste money.

    Blinds (in English) from the E.U. to Bulgaria – are only to be expected.

    The other day I came upon the site for the city of Alington (in supposedly small government Texas).

    It was offering free new toilets to anyone in a house built before 1992.

    You see before 1992 houses were built with proper toilets.

    Then (to “save water”) new toilets were mandated by the government – so people have to flush several times, (or by a toilet with a electic motor – so the water moves faster).

    The fact that people should have meters and pay for the water they use anyway…. well leave that aside.

    Anyway – here is your free new toilet, we (government X) have found yet another new way to waste money.

    One might almost suspect that govenrment people (in Britain or the E.U. or America …) are not spending their own money…….

    By the way – as modern countries go, Bulgaria is actually quite a sensible place.

    A flat rate of income tax (and what passes for a low rate, by modern standards).