Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Le weekend

(I know this picture is old. But Michaela has the pictures from the weekend, and they aren't posted yet, so I'm improvising because Easter was a week and a half ago, and I haven't updated yet. Weekend pictures - and they are a doozy - up soon.)

So, my weekend a lá Michaela.

I met Mic in the bus station around 6.15 on Saturday. We began the evening with pizza and beer at Republic, which may or may not be the bar's real name. This is my favourite pub in Glasgow - you go down the stairs into this dungeon-like hole (I like dungeons, as some of you may know - not in a dirty way) and it's almost coal-mine-esque in its black-and-dungeony-ness. They serve beer from all over the world and tasty pizza. Only thing missing? Let's be honest, cigarette smoke. Anyway, I had a delicious sausage, onion and red chili pizza with a Krusovice Royal Black from the Czech Republic. Michaela had a chorizo and something pizza with some sissy blonde beer. (I kid, I kid. It tasted fine, as far as pale ales go.)

Following our meal and interesting discussion of the gnostic tendencies of the modern church, we walked to Merchant City for some cocktails at the Metropolitan bar, which has been called one of the best cocktail bars in Scotland (or Britain, can't remember which). I flexed my cocktail-making class knowledge and requested a gin cosmopolitan and a Tom Collins "any kind, surprise me!". The gin cosmo was made with beautiful perfection, particularly the flaming orange. The bartender made me a fresh crushed raspberry and something Collins, and it was beautiful too. Mic and I thoroughly enjoyed them, but we decided to go martini-style for the second round. Doubtful, I asked if they did dirty martinis. The bartender acted surprised, and said yes, they could. A barmaid asked what I had requested, and her eyes too lit up in surprise. Dirty martinis are not popular in Britain. The bartender actually had to go upstairs to the restaurant to get olives, but I think he was quite happy to do so. The best was when he said, "I'm clearly speaking to an expert here, would you like gin or vodka?" Of course I chose gin, though I got a bit confusing when I subsequently asked if they served Grey Goose (vodka). He then asked shaken or stirred? and I foolishly went with shaken, forgetting that shaking 'bruises' the vermouth. A woman at the bar noticed the open can of olives and asked what they were for. When the bartender explained that he was making a gin martini with olive brine, she made the most hideous face and turned away in pure disgust. Noobs. Anyway, the martinis were excellent, but oh-so-powerful. I'm a bit of a lightweight so after that, we decided it was necessary to go for a walk to work some of the gin off.

We subsequently left one of the nicest cocktail bars in Scotland for Nice N Sleazy. There the real fun of the night began - Twenty Questions. No, you aren't going to hear anything about our game of Twenty Questions, other than it's a great way of getting to know people better, where you ask a question but then have to answer it yourself. We played over "Gary Coleman"s and "Pearl Necklace"s (I'm probably so breaking a copyright by using those names but whatever, go to Nice N Sleazy's and try them. There, free publicity.) The night was still young after two rounds so we texted Jamie to find out where the nearest Scream pub was, because Scream pubs sell yager, and thus we ended up only a few doors down the way. But let us not get ahead of ourselves too quickly...

By this point, a toilet was totally necessary. But for Mic, so was a cigarette. (Sorry, Mic, if you are hiding your vices from anyone.) So we stood outside under an overhang, avoiding the rain and smoking cigarettes. (Yes, I'll confess, I had one at this point. It kept me busy while I waited desperately for the toilets.) So you know how it goes, you're standing on slippery pavement, doing the gotta-pee-gotta-pee dance when suddenly, if you are me, you find yourself smack-down sprawled on the pavement. Well, 'sprawled' isn't exactly the best word - "glamourously perching" is more appropriate. (Really, it was glamourous.) I pulled it off so well, guys. Once I found myself no longer standing, I merely put the cigarette back to my mouth and casually inhaled. Class.

So as soon as she was done smoking, we made a mad dash to the loo where we met two Glaswegian girls who "totally love[ed]" our accents. We made best-bathroom-friends with these girls, whom we later at the very end of the night saw totally wipeout on the sidewalk and get picked back up by a crowd of similarly drunk men. We thus commenced the yager. Mic decided Jamie should meet us, and being the incredibly persuasive girl she is, she actually convinced him to join us, regardless of his having been awake since 3.30am and having travelled to England and back in that one day. Speaking of persuasive...

I always catch the quarter to twelve train back to Greenock when I'm out in Glasgow. This a) helps me to not end up drinking too much and b) is the only reasonable way to get home. My dear friend Michaela actually convinced me to miss the train and get a cab home later. A cab to Greenock. From Glasgow. On a Saturday night. Word of caution - Michaela is wack. So I called Scott, asked if he minded (it took a bit of persuading on my part, and that isn't my strong point, unlike some people), and he agreed. We then went back in and toasted Scott with the yager.

So there we were, waiting for Jamie outside the pub. We became engaged in an interesting conversation with the doorman, Jim, who is like our total best friend now (despite his gangster connections, which will surface in later paragraph). Jamie arrived, and the three of us toasted each other and left the closing pub.

Someone had the horrible idea that we should head to a club.

Fair enough, nothing else is open at that time of night in Glasgow, but here's the thing. Clubs in general are only good for maybe three things:
1. Getting laid.
2. Getting drunk.
3. Getting your groove on (which usually entails the prior two points).

Since none of us were terribly interested in these options, the club was a terrible experience. And since smoking has been banned, Mic and Jamie weren't exactly feeling the club thing AT ALL. We spent most of the rest of the evening in our own private cloud of smoke outside, playing Twenty Questions. (Because you know, you can't hear in clubs so talking is out of the question indoors.)

Finally, we all realised we seriously needed to go home. I called the cab.

Enter Jim's gangster connections. Or something. I don't actually know what was gangster about his connections, but I've adopted the don't-ask-don't-tell approach.

But apparently, the cab company was wack.

We waited for an hour and a half for our cab. Queues a mile long were backed up everywhere and none of the private cabs that arrived were ours. Thank God for Jamie at that point, who a) knew what the heck a private cab looked like b) knew what the heck to do when he saw a private cab and c) has a Glasgow accent. Oh, and d) bothered to actually stay with us until we were on a cab, even though it meant even less sleep for him. He finally asked what number I called and I showed him. That's when we discovered that the company I called was... actually I don't know what it was. Again, I'm guessing it was dodgy?

So finally a Pakistani driver said he'd take us to Greenock, and we were dubious because he wasn't our assigned driver, but it was, like, coming close to 4, and we needed to freaking get home. So Jamie (in his blessed local accent) said to the driver he'd been told it would be £25 to get to Greenock (ha!!!! try double that - or so!) but the kind man accepted. £25 it was. He dropped Jamie off first and then headed on from there to Greenock. As I do, I mentioned that I've been to Pakistan, and that surprisingly opened up an amazing dialogue (or would it be a trialogue?) about God. He wanted to know things about us as Christians (why we believe Jesus is the Son of God, etc) and he told us why he believes Mohommad is the great prophet. It was really good, honest, open conversation. It was great! In fact, we were so into the conversation that when we got to my house, we all continued sitting in the car for another three minutes or so finishing up. We paid the guy (and left him a £10 tip, since we'd kinda gipped him a bit on the fare) and then said goodbye. It was nearly 5am.

Ya'll, I don't even know what. My girl Michaela? She's seriously wack, making me act like a student all over again. And ya'll, I love her to death. Jamie, too. And mostly Scott for being so darn cool about it and forgiving me for being totally wreckless and irresponsible (we took a freaking cab from Glasgow to Greenock for crying out loud) for once and cuddling me to sleep when I got in.

Next weekend? Edinburgh! and beyond!

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