I won't rip into your staments, and actually wanted to agree with you about not liking the expat dinners. Maybe if the meets were just a get together in a pub instead of a sit down dinner, then one could just mingle around till you find someone with something in common with you, instead of sitting next to someone you don't.
Best of luck in B.A.
Absolutely, why don't you come to Deep Blue on Sat, as far as I know its happy hour from 8pm till 11pm. You can give them a call if you like to find out the prices etc 4312 3377.
I had the same thoughts as you about having a sit down meal when I didn't know anybody, that's why I chose a bar, so people could mingle and come and go as they pleased. I'm 32, my man is 30 and I know a few people going are in their 20's, of course there are some older people but hey your as old as you feel!
I'm a vodka drinker myself so cant help on the whisky swilling................
Hope to see you there!