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Fond beliefs shattered

As a Brit wandering around Spain I subscribe to two of the stereotypical views of the Spanish. "They don't seem interested in getting drunk, you hardly ever see Spaniards drunk in the street" and "They stick together as families, look at all those huge weekend meals with all the Grans and Aunties out with all the kids".

Antena 3 TV news last night: "Spain has the dubious honour of being the 6th highest nation in the World in the consumption of alcohol - we drink an average of 10 litres per person per year."

Last week I was skimming an English language magazine published in Alicante to see if they'd published an article I'd written. I was surprised to read "Spain has the highest divorce level in the European Union." Apparently over 70,000 people got divorced in the first six months of this year.

Actually, thinking about it, maybe the alcohol thing doesn't surprise me. Spaniards may drink a lot. The overweight, middle aged, man having a brandy with his coffee for breakfast or someone popping into the bar for a quick red wine is another stereotype I hold dear. Large numbers drinking small amounts regularly may give a similar statistical result to small numbers on the razz.

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