Lessons learned in a St Andrews pub
Expect this to be a bit unstructured and generally meh...
I will now hold forth about an aspect of St Andrews life that I have become very fond of...the Old Man Pub. St Andrews is a very small Scottish town that during term time is dominated by students, where the most widely used phrase is something like, "yah, drinky poos back at mine, dahling" and where the average age decreases by about thirty years every time June comes around. Pubs in the centre of town tend to be either student orientated (cheap, bright and with Greenday or The Killers playing in the background) or glossy with good food (somewhere American golfers will go to try Guinness because they think it is Scottish). Old Man pubs are on the edge of things. They are a little dingy and don't have a touch-screen jukebox. The owners know most of the drinkers by name and new-comers are stared at. The man by the bar and his disconcertingly large grey dog (and there will be a man by the bar with a disconcertingly large grey dog) look up simultaneously as the stranger enters and both seem to utter the same low growl, deep in their throats...
But they soften up in time. And there are advantages to these pubs, particularly if you are a woman under the age of thirty and like having free drinks bought for you. And I am and I do. I know it's hypocritical and sexist, ra ra ra...whatevs. Chuckle.
A few lessons to learn before you go in:
Lesson 1: Do not be put off by the silence that will inevitably fall as you enter (particularly if you are under 30)
Lesson 2: Do not ask to see the wine list. There isn't one. And you will be glared at and have the words "Go to hell" transmitted telepathically to you by the bar man.
Lesson 3: Second thoughts, don't order wine.
Lesson 4: If possible, order a pint of Belhaven Best; if you can't stand this then get a lager.
Lesson 5: Only make eye-contact with people if you are ready to have a conversation that will go on for several hours about something that you will understand less that half of, or you will inevitably find yourself agreeing with and/or to things that you don't adhere to.
Most brilliant thing ever said to me in a St Andrews Old Man Pub: "If yer in shite up to yer nose, keep yer mouth shut!" How true.
All for now