White Harte

To elaborate.

i am experiencing a not so strange sense of displacement, like water pushed out of a puddle by a large rock. i don't feel as though i would be any drops taking part in the violent splash but rather more like a ripple across the surface that touches the other bank and soaks into the dirt, blending peacefully back into its surroundings. the drops in the violent splash are friends i've known to jump head first into a country without knowing much of its language. they didn't travel to study through a school but instead to study through their own means, to perform their own cultural surgery. sometimes they were thrown out of their puddle and landed with both feet on the ground and sometimes the sutures from the surgery were never healed right and the trip came off quite wrong. i am not a drop, but a ripple. smooth and gliding across the surface waiting to come in contact with something solid so as to gain a foothold. i am waiting, in a sense, for the feeling that i belong to this community - waiting to blend into the surroundings.

i am, also, violently aware that these feeling are completely natural.

additionally, i can't find a cup of coffee to save my life. shops are more than happy to brew me an americano (leading to many cups of undesired and just-quite-exactly-not-satisfying bean squeezings). but finding a cup of damned drip coffee is impossible. i feel like moses, here. the difference being that i haven't found a cup of coffee worth waiting 40 years for. that's the only difference. between me and moses. in this circumstance. right. lots of similarities.

but i digress.

keeping in mind that i wish to feel more connected to this community, yesterday danielle and i went downtown to the city center. after grabbing bangers & mash for lunch at an awfully modern sidewalk cafe we decided to pay another visit to the white harte. dissapointed in my first trip to the pub, i felt a return to glean more first hand history would be prudent (and by "dissapointed" i mean "it was so great i wanted to go back"). the waitress recognized me and poured me another deuchars without my saying so. beautiful, i think. the taps are perfect - they're real taps. two massive, firm, smooth pulls are required to fill the pints and when the foam settles the nozzle is put just below the head and a small top-off pull is taken. it sounds silly but you can tell attention has been paid. the young woman asked if we were new to the area. i said that yes i was, a student at the Uni, actually. a history major, even. she inquires if we have had the tour of the building and, like the fucking idiot that i am i say no, but i did a report on this bar before coming (i neglected to elaborate making me look like a 10th grader). but that would be rather fantastic.

after two pints we were approached by an older gentleman, perhaps in his 50s, in a nice suit and tie wearing a wool topcoat. would you like to have a poke about the place? so this wonderful man shows us around and explains that events set in motion in the White Harte began the english civil war. he goes on to show the room that the parlimentarians were in when the decision was made to raise the gates of the town and not let the king in. it turns out the man lived at the bar for a year and works for Hull City Council. wow. i got some community right here for you, my brain sez to itself, how you like them fucking apples, sherburne?

so we drink. and chat. and drink. and chat. and smoke cheap castella cigars. 8 hours later i find that his name is patrick o'malley and, on top of his duties for the City Council, manages the Harte. his friends buy shots and before i know it danielle and i are surrounded by james, tony, craig, alan and others, raucous jolly friends of patrick's buying rounds and discussing world affairs. patrick and i get into a protracted discussion about world war ii and he was very interested in my 499 thesis from last spring regarding wartime Soviet propaganda.

at midnight danielle and i get a cab back to our respective flats and so ends one of the most beautiful evenings i have had in as long as i can remember. a cool, clammy evening in the smallest, most lush beer garden that is crammed across the smallest alley i've seen from one of the most historically important venues in north england. smoke floating up, though the tree branches, mixing and playing with the dense fog setting in. ahh. england.

i feel like my ripple is absorbing into the damp banks. (take that out of context and you have yourself some kind of strange ass sentence.)

also, what kind of "prepare'd" traveller wanders and stumbles across an ocean and forgets his usb cable? damn you apes!


patrick o'malley's four steps to perfect beer:
1. cellar temp of 50℉
2. clean lines from the keg or cask
3. the pour - leave the glass to settle happily after two or two.5 pulls and put the tip just in and top off the beer.
4. a good brew - not in your hands

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