This weekend, our usually quiet little town is hosting a regatta. One of the apparent advantages of dwelling by the River Thames. I said apparent, because I think now the regatta is more a curse than a blessing. I blogged about it back in 2010. Basically, it may have been a great event at some point in the town's history, but it is now an excuse for people of all ages to get seriously wasted on alcohol while they wear fancy clothes. I went out twice yesterday, once in the afternoon, once in the evening. The first time there were many people, men in suits and women in posh dresses, all wearing bottles of beer, cocktail or wine, already drinking. When I went out in the evening to buy groceries, they were the same people, from teenagers to elderly, all smartly dressed, all drunk. I might have been the only sober person in the street.
I did not feel in danger, but I remained aware of any potential danger. There was a heavy police presence. I saw one police officer helping a drunken woman in her forties (I think) who was for some reason prostrated by the entrance of a shop, looking in pain, although I could not see any wound or anything like this. How can someone get drunk in high heels? If most people seemed happily drunk, some teenagers may have sounded somewhat aggressive. I don't know how it was in the pubs. As I said, although there was no clear and present danger, I remained aware of the possibility, so I did not spend much time out. And I felt glad to learn Krav Maga. It was also at the back of my mind the whole time: this is why I decided to learn self-defense. I had a thought about one of fellows Krav Maga-er, who is a barmaid in a local pub and who I know was working tonight. I understood yesterday why she decided to learn herself. So that's it, yesterday this quiet little town by the Thames seemed to have been transformed into a modern Sodom and Gomorrah. Go figure.
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