the boat dreams from the hill…

the title of this post is taken from the jawbreaker song of the same name…it is as incredible now as it was ten years ago when i first listened to it…it is also the best song ever written from a boat’s point of view…

i met scott at the coq and bull pub a little after five pm and we got well acquainted very quickly…there is something about meeting people while traveling that significantly diminishes the normal boundaries that exist when meeting new folks…i am not entirely sure the reason for this, but i think it’s a mixture of generally being more willing to (or having to) take risks when you are out of your comfort zone…there also seems to be a universal understanding among travelers that we can trust each other…so far it’s served me very well over the years and i can’t count the number of life-long friends i’ve made over the years just wandering around the globe…

scott’s an english teacher in suburban new jersey and we shared some good stories about our teaching experiences over a few drinks…a friend of a friend of his, jason, was the bartender there and there’s nothing better than having a bartender on your side…he was pleasant, friendly and gave us a lot of interesting tips and ideas on local places to visit…he even went out of his way to make a list of vegetarian restaurants for me that i should check-out…simple kindness is grossly undervalued…jason was also irish, which means he insisted that we polish off every beer with this…

IMG_1358

if you know me at all, you know i never turn down a good whiskey…we threw down a few more drinks and between the three of us shared a lot of traveling stories…jason had a lot of questions about the quality of life in the states as it pertains to work/life balance…he was pretty disturbed by how much people work in america and how little time people have for things like family, friends etc…you know, things that matter…in that moment, i became immediately aware of great it is to have the career i have and the freedom to do the kinds of things i really want to…lots of blessings…

after jason’s shift ended, his buddy ian (a north englander as he told us) came in to fill in for him behind the bar…we introduced ourselves and while he had no problem saying my name, ian insisted on affectionately referring to me as “dev”, which i found charming and funny…i’m sure someone else might have found it offensive, but ian didn’t seem like the type of guy who would have given a fuck anyway…i appreciated that…he gave us all another shot and then we hit the road with jason to a vietnamese joint down the block…

the food was good, maybe better than good…it was hard to judge fairly at that point in the night (it was approaching midnight) and scott and i both commented on how quickly the night had rolled by…we finished up eating and because the restaurant was a little hole in the wall without a bathroom, we all headed back to use the restroom at the pub…ian was closing up shop, and before we could leave, poured us all another shot…i thought maybe this isn’t a good idea, but i didn’t think ian was taking no for an answer, so we all threw one back…

jason hit the road to head home to his wife and new born (ten months) and scott i headed to the door when ian asked why we were leaving…and followed it up with “i figured i’d close the bar and we’d have a few more”…scott and i looked at each other for a second and i’m pretty sure we both came to the same conclusion…ian’s not the type of guy you meet all that often and  hanging out with him for a while longer is not something we’d soon forget…we guessed right…

in the next three hours, ian made a medley of different drinks for us while telling us some amazing stories about wrestling crocodiles and hanging out with bears in various places…he was very smart character, with a sharp wit…the kind that knows just how to tell a story and just how to make fun of you without making you feel uncomfortable…he invited us to another bar he’s working on tuesday and finally threw us out at 3 am after telling us that samuel beckett (the dude who wrote waiting for godot) was andre the giant’s babysitter/driver…which is actually, completely, fucking true…

oddly enough, the whole paris metro thing i wrote about in my last entry slapped me right in the face since none of the trains were working at the time we left the bar…luckily my apartment was only a couple of kilometers away and i made the walk without incident and without getting lost…

and that’s about as good as a sunday ever gets…

ooxx aa

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