December 13, 2018

Drunk in Edinburgh

I love this city very much. We had a wonderful time in Scotland and while sad it was such a short stay, it was enough time to convince us to come back for a proper visit. The people were lovely, the weather was fantastic, the food was delicious, and the drinks flowed. There is a lot of drinking in Scotland and the mixologists here are impressive. Last night however, the people we came across were more of a beer drinking crowd and our introduction to being drunk in Edinburgh was fascinating.


We went to a local bar where the back room is full of musicians playing. Just a group of locals, hanging out, and anyone with a guitar or a fiddle can join in. They played classic Scottish music and it was fantastic. We stayed for an hour listening to the joyous music. Then as we made our way to the door, there was a woman sitting on the floor. By sitting of course I mean collapsed. She was completely passed out and unable to walk, talk, or stand. I was worried for her.


We waited outside for a couple minutes to make sure she was okay. A young man then appeared at the door holding the woman up. He was struggling to keep her from falling and a barman from the pub was telling him he needed to get her home. They brought a chair outside for her as I’m certain they thought she was going to have a massive hurl any second. The barman called them a cab and when it came he went to explain what was going on with the driver.


He told the cabbie he had a customer who was out with his mom and she had too much to drink. I’m sorry but I started to laugh she was his mother. I can’t imagine getting that drunk with my son. I could not stop laughing, which I know is wrong, but come on. She was sat on a chair, slumped onto her son, blacked out. The poor barman tried to convince 4 cabs to take them home, but they all refused.  We eventually left, but I wondered how it all ended.


We headed back to our hotel and went for a stroll thinking we might have a final drink. As we strolled we heard a commotion. A man was screaming profanities and it sounded aggressive, so we looked around to ensure we weren’t walking into something bad. That is when we saw a man who appeared to be in his early twenties, going off on two police officers. He was telling the officer he was a human being, and was demanding that he speak to him with respect.


Every other word began with an F, and he was screaming at the top of his lungs. The police stayed in the car while he lost his mind, then the officers got out of their car and calmly told him to stop shouting. He went off again. Seriously went off. He was screaming at one officer, with their faces an inch away from each other, and the officer just listened. He then told him to go home, the cops got back in their car, and the young drunk guy walked off, still shouting.


The officers showed heroic patience and kindness. In America he’d have been cuffed on the ground with a knee in his back. If he were white. If he were black, he’d be dead and we’d be hearing about how his yelling made the police feel threatened. In a country with breathtaking beauty, this exchange with police was perhaps the most beautiful thing we saw. Scotland is a wonderful and wondrous place. Mother nature was generous with Scotland, and in return her people are kind and keeping the faith.