Don’t drink the “local spirit” in Gili T

Normally, I am the sort of person that can hold my drink.

Admittedly, my tolerance had decreased of late. I hadn’t been out much at home to save money for traveling, and once away and traveling solo I mostly preferred not to drink more than one or two to keep my wits about me.

Gili T is known for being a party island and lives up to it’s reputation.

Something that I had been pre-warned about was “local spirit”.

You’ll notice on most drinks menus in Gili T there will be two options next to, for example, a whiskey such as “imported” and “local”.

The difference is that the imported is (supposedly) branded stuff you know and love like good old Jack Daniels or Jameson etc.

The local stuff is basically moonshine.

Home-made and untested.

I later found out via some research that people have actually died from this stuff.

Yes, DIED.

What is also worth pointing out is that there are no police and there is no hospital on Gili T.

So I’d been told to avoid it but with not much elaboration on why. It was a lot cheaper than imported and Gili T was eating into my budget.

I figured one or two would not be a problem as long as I didn’t drink loads of the dodgy stuff and end up going blind.

What I didn’t really think about was some of the ridiculously cheap happy hour cocktails that were on offer.

Me and one of the guys I was traveling with drank quite a few mojitos and though I felt tipsy, I felt absolutely fine.

By the time I got back to the hostel I was not in a good state and not in control of my actions which is a state I HATE being in.

I spent my whole night alternating between the foetal position in bed and projectile vomiting.

I have not thrown up so much since my 18th birthday.

It only occurred to me the next day that the reason the happy hour cocktails had been SO cheap was that it had to have been local spirit.

Otherwise they would not have made any money on them and though I had drank a few, I would not usually get that drunk or that sick off of the amount that I had drank.

I asked if the other guy if he had been sick and he could literally remember nothing. He had been told he had gone and out and come back in the morning but with no idea where he had gone or what he had done.

He couldn’t even remember the last hour or so that we had been at the bar.

A lot of people go to Gili T to get drunk but I find there is always a difference between me being drunk and me being out of control. I usually stop way ahead of veering out of control.

You will probably meet plenty of people that claim they consumed large amounts of the local stuff with no bad side effects, but that’s the thing about home-brewed unregulated moonshine alcohol …One batch could be perfectly fine and another batch could make you sick or even kill you.

So consider this fair warning, steer clear of the local spirit on Gili T.

Posted by

Freelance writer who loves reading, cooking & travelling. Rarely spotted without red lipstick. Penchant for whiskey on the rocks.

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