When: Wednesday, 4:20pm
I rarely do these bar surveying posts anymore because I go out and drink far less in Portland than when I was in NYC. I’m not sure if it’s age (I hope not) but I have nearly no urge to drink ever, which is both physical and mental. It’s not exactly a problem–I can still drink like used to; I just don’t want to–though it’s strange.
In Glasgow, I stopped into Rogano, a wonderfully old-school deco bar where the dining room is modeled after a luxury liner, all sweaty and harried having just wasted hours running around trying to find a correct US to UK power adapter (the first two I bought didn’t work with my laptop) so that I could work on “vacation,” the most un-vacation-like vacation I’ve ever had–I’m still bitter and exhausted.
When you write for a living, it’s often possible to build a backlog before you take off, but my current gig presents new challenges daily and multiple ad hoc duties, which required me to spend hours in my hotel room and Airbnb every day, waking up at 7am to six-plus messages with assignments and grinding out daily 800-word articles on dry, technical subjects. So far in life, I’ve managed to avoid this type of relentless micro-managed work. I thought that was what being middle-aged was all about.
So, I snuck out for a French 75 while waiting for more urgent emails. I sat on a stool next to a woman with a brown bob who might’ve been early-to-mid-30s, conservatively dressed in a trenchcoat, slacks, and flats, making her seem like she must work in finance. I don’t know what people do for work in Glasgow. She was sitting with an older man in a suit who I took to be a regular. She complimented my order because it was her favorite drink, She said that she made a lot of French 75s when she lived in Pakistan. Ok.
She started talking to the super young bartender who was on his first week of employment about complicated drinks. Singapore Slings are apparently the most complex–or at least contain a lot of ingredients. I took this as my cue to mention that the ones served at Raffles in Singapore aren’t that good. “At Raffles?!” “Really?” She then asked if I was in London much, so I guess my weird stranger lady neg worked, and recommended some good bars.
I’m pretty sure I lost her attention when I mentioned out loud that I had been receiving emails and had to get back to work. An adult woman with no agency is a turnoff, I get it. I also used to be the type that could ignore emails and blow off work. Now it’s come to this. Working on vacation to pay my mortgage with 65% of my salary.
Yes, I realize the privilege to be able to pay for plane tickets, hotels, and Airbnbs, which were not insignificant costs. (I was on unemployment when I decided to tag along with my sister on this trip. I had free time but dwindling savings and thought why not?)
Then a dark-haired 60-ish woman dolled up in sequins and wearing vibrant makeup sat between the already present woman and the older gentleman, a far more interesting subject, so she turned her attention accordingly.
I left and bought a bottle of white wine at Aldi, contradicting my above statement about drinking losing its appeal, and continued to work in my hotel room for the next three hours.
Age appropriate? Most definitely. Any business taking design cues from the Queen Mary can’t be for youngsters.