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The Trainspotting Manifesto, Wee Weekend and Praying for a Bar Brawl

Trainspotting, by definition, has a couple of meanings.
1. hobby of collecting railroad locomotive numbers: a hobby that consists of collecting the numbers of railroad locomotives
2. looking for vein: the search for a vein that is prominent enough to inject drugs into ( slang )
I have chosen to add another meaning:
3. A 14 man dorm room. Blue, metal bunks, so rickety that even when you pass gas they squeek so bring a good pair of ear plugs. There is a secret door in the room that is another private room, sometimes, if you are really lucky, this room will be occupied with several young German kids who sleep all day and come home at in the wee hours. And don’t worry, they know about hostel etiquette, they speak a regulare speaking volume at this hour too. Then they will take turns going to the toilet which is located upstairs or downstairs from the Trainspotting room. The painted paper that has been ingeniously tapped to the windows between the connecting rooms, still gives off more light than the brightest day in a desert land, so bring a good eye mask too.
3a)The plaster covered floor where other travellers have been trainspotting has worn away to show a palette of colours it has been painted over the years.
3b) You might spot one of two earwigs in a Scottish hostel. Hands are good for this as you may not want to squish bug guts into your crispy clean hostel bedding. Just flick this earwig as accurately as you can into the direction of neighbouring beds. Then leave the hostel, maybe drink off the shock, and come back with enough indiscretion for you to pass out and forget all about the insect infestation.
The Blue Sky Hostel is a great place to stay. The lime green walls was an interesting choice, but complement the fun disco ball hanging from the ceiling well. On hostelbookers.com, the hostel has provided a strict manifesto for hostelling with them:
We cater to backpackers only! We are not a youth hostel, hotel, bed and breakfast or guest house! Please, if you are boring with no personality, kind of a person that sits in the corner not talking to anyone waiting for someone to feel sorry for you then blame the hostel because you didn’t have fun or if the fact our dishes and cups don’t match bothers you or if you are not a backpacker between the ages of 18 to 35 years and are not used to backpacker hostels do not book with us as you will not be happy here!

We had to laugh at how perfect his place sounded for us in particular, the mismatched glassware, which for those who know us, is exactly what you’ll find if you open up our cupboards. We went ahead and booked us for two nights crossing our fingers in hopes that Morgan would make the age cutoff (we love how young you are Morgan).

The owner of the Blue Sky Hostel is Canadian. He’s from Alberta and has been running the show for ten years. He’s not hard to pick out. He’s the much more strung out Kurt Cobain look-a-like, only with longer, un-dyed hair.

One of our dorm mates also happened to be from the good old grain roots of Alberta. Denny was a mill worker who couldn’t have look less inconspicuously Canadian; lumberjack attire and a canoe paddle jutting from his backpack. He had been travelling Eastern Europe for the past eight months and shared a fun story about his experience with bunk beds. He found himself working in a hostel where a guy and girl had come home late one night. So drunk, the guy had wet the bed in his sleep. The pee had dripped down and on to the girls bed below. The girl wakes up in the night and freaks out thinking she’d been the one to wet herself in her slumber. Drunk and confused and urine soaked, she thought, who better to make this better than the guy she liked, in the bunk above. So she climbed into bed with him and together then lay in the pee soaked bed. So we had a wee laugh about the wee-wee weekend in Eastern Europe.

The Blue Sky manifesto goes on: “Glasgow hosts the best night life in the whole of Scotland. Come and stay at the Bluesky Hostel in Glasgow and experience it for yourself. You will not be disappointed. You have been warned!” And what else should you hope, if not expect, to see when you begin your merry pubbing? A bar brawl.

On our last night in Glagow, we make it to The Hall pub in Glasgow at 9pm. We’ve missed out on the ‘Screamin’ deal – a free burger and soft drink valid with a coupon issued from our kind Blue Sky Hostel. With broken hearts needing meanding, we decide on two pints of delicious Tetley’s. We find a seat close to a pool table where a pack of men are knees deep in drunk and having a good laugh at their terrible game, which involved a lot of cue-guitaring and cue-jousting in celebration of a hole pocketed.
A group of two young kids make their way to the pool table and want to start a game, but in Glasgow, this is recipe for a classic Glasgow tradition; bar brawls. One of the elderly gentlemen isn’t finished using the table and begins to mince words with one of the younger lads. Things were getting heated so Morgan shiftly grabbed us two more pints.

There’s a classic scene in the movie Trainspotting. At a bar, Begbie brags to his friend about his prowess at the pool table and concludes the story by casually throwing a pint glass of beer off the bar balcony, injuring a woman. This instigates a violent bar brawl.

Unfortunatley, there was no connecting of glasswear to skulls, but we’re still in search of a good Scottish bar fight or another viewing of Trainspotting is in order.

On pints: In Vancouver, there’s been a lot debate about the size of a true pint. In the UK, there is no head on your pint. It’s beer, right to the top of your glass. A full 20 ounces of goodness. Thirsty? Beer is cheaper than water. A small bottle of water will cost you £1.50 while a massive pint of beer costs as low as £2.

From here on in, Morgan and I have decided to sign off as The Limey and The Yank. Morgan has American citizenship and I have British. After three pints it seemed like a good idea.

The Limey

If you liked this post or have anything to say, please leave a comment! I love reading them. You don’t even have to write in English! I will reply to all comments in any language :)

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This entry was posted on September 27, 2010 by in Backpacking.
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