One of the things I noticed the first time I spent time here was the DRASTIC difference between here and the states (be it DC, VA, NYC, just about anywhere) in the cost of going out for drinks.
For example, take my old happy hour stomping ground. We knew the bartenders for a while, so for many months, this was a non-issue. But when they left? I realized that a glass of wine actually cost like $15. The average glass of wine at a restaurant in VA or DC will run you from $9 – $20, and NY’s averages are fo SHO higher than that. So, with today’s conversion, thats about a range of about 7 – 16 €. PLUS TIP (another thing that takes getting used to here…barely any tipping if at all!). And to buy a bottle of wine, shoot…at a restaurant you can get a good bottle of wine for 10 € and at the grocery store for 2! I digress.
Say you and a bunch of friends go out for drinks, you sort of try to keep track of who bought a round and who didn’t, to make it even (if you’re not just waiting for the final bill to split), OR someone gets shafted by throwing down their credit card. Here, we have a way around it, and it’s called the mini-bote. Basically, everyone throws in X amount in the beginning of the night and then no one has to worry who paid more or less, and for the most part (give or take) people seem to drink at the same pace. Normally…this is the amazing part…we throw in like 10€ per person, and a lot of times that holds us for the whole night. That’s like $13! That’s like one glass of wine in the states! Amazing.
Our friend Virginia is the manager of the mini-botes, she has different ones for different occasions. The red one with the snap is called the mini-Betsy cause my mom gave us that for one of the presents we were bringing back. Teeheehee…mini-Betsy. That makes me laugh every time.