Can I see some ID please?

First things first: I do not drink a lot of alcohol! I know my limits. Although I bet I could out-drink my British friends if I had to! That's because I am German - which means I grew up with German beer, which has a higher percentage than most of what's on tap in the UK. Furthermore, the legal age to buy beer and wine in Germany is 16, for spirits it's 18. This means, up to today, I have been allowed to buy and drink alcohol legally for 5 years!

In the UK, there's Challenge 21. If you look under 21 (although the legal age here is 18) you can be asked for ID. This only happened to me twice in the one year I have now been living in Carlisle, but still annoys me. I went to Spar today. Earlier in the day, I bought 8 cans of beer, without showing ID. Just a couple of hours later - (it's sunday night, I just want a quiet night in) I tried to buy a bottle of rosé (wearing exactly the same outfit as before) and got asked for ID. The only time I just grabbed some money, not my purse, and I get IDed. Figures. Honestly. Do I look to be under 18? I am 21 and like to think that I don't look too young to have a drink! But here's another problem: I don't have British ID! My German national ID (which functions as my passport in the EU) is not good enough proof of age for some. A barkeeper on Botchergate in Carlisle told me once, I wouldn't get anything with that "fake polish ID"..... WHAT????? It's pretty much my passport, that is accepted at all EU airports and borders, has been my proof of age since I was 16 and somebody who can't distinguish the word "Polska" from "Deutsch" tells me I can't have a drink? I could bet he was even younger than me.

In Germany, you only get asked for ID if you look young and try to buy spirits. As soon as you look old enough to be 20, nobody bothers you. In fact, I have only been asked for ID since I moved to England. In the 4 years prior to that, I never had to show ID. No matter where I went - Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Ecuador, problem. I know people over here face heavy fines when found out, but so do Germans. But buying alcohol from a person, and then being asked by the same person for ID a few hours later, IS pushing it, don't you think?

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