Friday, 10 August 2012
Everyone goes to Rick’s
There is the ubiquitous Irish pub in Kronstadt. “...serving porter since 1910”. Yeah, right. It is not only culturally, socially and existentially intrusive but every day they set up an enormous flat-screen TV and blast out pop music, polluting every cafe within range (including the one I like to sit in). Why on earth drink Guinness when Ursus and Silva brew excellent local dark beers? Why eat Shepherd's Pie when you can eat Goulash? Perhaps the pub is somehow locally aspirational like the shoe shop, a place to conspicuously spend wedge?
Or maybe it’s just me.
Later that afternoon, Ian, a guy from Derry who has divided his time between Kronstadt and the Dominican Republic for the last four years, turns up at Dimitiris’ place. Three cloudy glasses of ouzo are brought out. Thank you, Dimitris. I hand a glass over to Ian. Thanks, Jack. Then I ask him if he’s ever been to the Irish pub. He looks at me over the top of his sunglasses and says, What do you think?