Blog: Olly Wehringjust-drinks in India, take two

Olly Wehring | 28 November 2008

Another week, another trip to India. just-drinks has just returned from a three-day jaunt to Delhi and Jaipur, courtesy of SABMiller.

Given the events in Mumbai on Wednesday night, it was not the best time to be a westerner staying in India's poshest hotels. The attacks on Mumbai, which as I write have claimed a reported 130 lives and left more than 300 injured, make the world of drinks journalism seem relatively trivial.

On a business level, of course, talk has centred on whether the attacks can harm investor confidence in the country. The Bombai Stock Exchange was closed yesterday (27 November) but held up well upon re-opening today (28 November).

This week's trip was a bit of a whirlwind tour, taking in Delhi, Jaipur, rural areas of Rajasthan and also an 'ethnic village' theme park, which included elephants, camels, traditional bread making and screeching puppet shows.  

Much of India appears to be synonymous with organised chaos. Things seem to work, though it is not often obvious to the foreign eye as to how.  

Beer drinking is on the rise but remains a minority sport in the country. Bars are minimal, and vary from low-end types, such as the gloomily lit yet brilliantly named 'Yes Boss' bar in Jaipur, to the swanky, disco light experience that is 'F Bar' in Delhi.

Beer is also pricey for the masses. A day's work on the minimum wage in Rajasthan would hand you INR100 (US$2), still not enough to buy one bottle of standard beer.


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