Thursday, December 12, 2013

Island Paradise: Pub Crawl Kidnapping!

One of my neighbors in student housing was a Canadian geologist whom we'll call Rock Sniffer. She's back in Scotland for a couple of weeks on account of graduation, and after many mentions of how awesome Orkney is, she decided to come up. She arrived in Stromness and needed to hit the cash machine, so we went to see the new statue of Dr. John Rae (a post about Dr. Rae is pending), and then around the corner to the ATM... At which point we were conscripted into a pub crawl to celebrate a local lad's twenty-first birthday. You know what they say:

We were initially dragged to the bar at the Royal Hotel, and subsequently to the Flattie Bar in the ground floor of the Stromness Hotel. Our impromptu hosts were all dressed as cowboys, Indians, or cows in honor of one lad's twenty-first birthday. They had converted what I can only conjecture to have been a football chant into a drinking song that they'd break into every now and again, replacing the lyrics with various two-syllable names. Rock Sniffer and I had intended to get the first Stagecoach X1 bus from Stromness back to Kirkwall, but we were assured that they had a bus of their own, and would get us back to Kirkwall. Okie dokie...

After those two pubs in Stromness, we ended up at the Standing Stones Hotel. This became the sight of well-lubricated singing, to include with some French guys with whom several of us ended up sitting. They broke into some song which I assume to have been La Marseillaise - I assume that because I didn't recognize the tune and couldn't understand the lyrics that they were singing. I was then made to sing the Star-Spangled Banner, which I did at the top of my lungs. At its completion, they tried to get Rock Sniffer to sing Oh Canada, but she declined! Shortly thereafter, it was on to the Pomona Inn in Finstown, where we nearly witnessed a fight, and snapped a few more pictures. It was shortly thereafter that we were back on the road to Kirkwall, where Rock Sniffer and I parted ways with our hosts. It was a fantastic introduction to Orcadian hospitality for Rock Sniffer, and although it was unexpected, it was only momentarily surprising for yours truly.

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