Wednesday, November 23, 2011

#70. The Alexander Graham Bell, 128 George St, Edinburgh

Too big and fancy to be just a pub, Alexander Graham Bell's is a huge bar with a good selection of real ales.

With St. Andrew's Day coming up next week, I opted for a seasonal Orkney Andrew's Ale, a good, solid beer. It's funny how St. Patrick's is so popular, but nobody really knows about the patron saint of Scotland.

Posters on the walls featured portraits and histories of some of Scotland's famous sons, of which there are many.

The clientele was a mix of all ages, with most everyone dressed up for an evening out (even if it was only Wednesday night). In particular, there were a lot of young women dressed provocatively in short, short skirts. Old or young, everyone is very comfortable with their friends, as if they have known each other all their lives. And maybe their parents knew each other, too. And their parents. Continuity breeds confidence, and the Scots have it in spades. It is okay to be Scottish. Sometimes it doesn't feel that way to be Canadian; if we do exist, we're built on a house of cards.

I am at Table 8. From here, their comfort with themselves and each other appears very deeply embedded in their DNA; the way their friends look, yes, but also how they smell and sound seems to resonate. I envy them.

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