Our AirB&B hostess recommended a local pub if we wanted to just have a good time with no fanfare. So one evening we decided to take her advice and walk down to the local watering hole. When we got to the Anchor Inn, 100% local is just what we got. There were about four TVs and one well-used pool table. The jukebox didn't quite screech to a halt when we walked in, but a lot of heads turned to wonder how two tourist could get this lost in Edinburgh.
We walked up to the bar and ordered a couple drams of Glenfiddich and a Tennents lager chaser. Not cheap ($12), but they would be the last drinks we bought for the rest of the night.
Lori and I were enjoying the atmosphere and were writing a few things down on our "to do" list when a couple of lads leaned over and asked where we were from and what we were doing in this place.
They were amazed that we actually wandered into this pub and were very impressed that we did it on purpose so we could meet the locals. Of course, the biggest joke and icebreaker comes when they ask me my name. In the U.S. and other parts of the world, "Randy" doesn't get much of a thought. In the U.K. it has a very specific connotation. In the U.K. and other commonwealths, "randy" means horny. The laughs and jokes were endless with each new face I met. Even with a name like mine, most of the naughty innuendos were thrown at people from Aberdeen. We learned later on that it had to do with violating sheep (enough said there).
Once they learned of my Scottish descent and our desire to experience authentic Scotland through the eyes of the locals, we became honored guests. As everyone in the pub came up to meet their long lost countryman, they also came bearing gifts. If it wasn't double shots of whisky or a beer, it was black pudding. It was our first time to experience this local "delicacy" and even though it looked scary, we found it to be really tasty, like a deep fried bean burrito.
Just down the block from the Anchor Inn, at the Queensbury Lawn Bowling Club, I was introduced to the sport for the very first time. I knew not one iota about it, but Gordon assured me that it was quite easy. Off we went to put on some official lawn bowling shoes and out to the pitch we went.
Everyone in the club came out to watch the "Yank" have a go at lawn bowling. From their nods of approval I must have done alright.
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