Yesterday I went to my first AA meeting in another country. They have an English speaking meeting 5 nights a week. I missed the meeting my first night due to jetlag. Then I went on Friday. I really enjoyed it. It felt good to finally share about my relapse. It was interesting to hear about the stories of alcoholics from around the world. I liked that they have chips, including monthly chips for the first year. I am not gonna focus on the chips this time round. Most of them were going out for dinner after and invited me. I wish I joined them but I was really tired and had a tour early the next morning.
As I was leaving the meeting, a man yelled to me “don’t go to the pub!” I am glad he did. I kept that in my mind as I walked past many pubs on the way back to my hotel. I kept it in mind when I stopped in the store to buy water and saw beers cheaper. I kept it in mind today when I thought how nice it was to have strangers care about my sobriety.
I spent all day on a tour with plans to go to the meeting as soon as we returned to the city. But we got back late. I was 30 minutes late to the meeting. I was very glad I went for two reasons.
First, I met two women on the tour. We chatted about the pros and cons of solo travel. We compared our plans for this trip and admired each other’s photos. Then they made plans to go out for drinks afterwards and invited me. I declined because I had plans to meet other people. I just didn’t say those people were a group of alcoholics.
Second, I asked the tour bus driver to drop me off by the lake rather than my hotel. He said that was no problem. I was last person on the bus. He asked where by the lake and I said “on the other side.” There was a small road that went down that side of the lake with the AA building. He asked “a guesthouse?” I gave the address. “Ohhh I was wondering. Welcome to the club. I have 15 years.”
I wanted to hug him but he was driving a bus. I was so thrilled to share this sort of secret code. I told him I was 11 days again after a year and 4 months sober. He wished me good luck and happy travels.
I won’t be able to attend anymore meetings this week here because I will be on a roadtrip. But those 2 meetings gave me fuel to stay strong. I have my Big Book I have been reading with meals. I have other club members around me whether I know it or not.