Tuesday, 2 June 2015

The difference between a student bar and a Spoons pub.


Being home from uni is great. Home cooked food, your own bed, seeing your family, no bills or rent to worry about, internet that works... the list is endless. But one thing that changes significantly is the social life.

Uni seems to be its own little world. It doesn't conform to the usual day-to-day rhythms of life. Sleeping patterns are disjointed and a complete myth. A healthy diet is restricted to those who have a budget that can afford a weekly intake of fresh fruit and vegetables. The uni household will very rarely have an internet speed above 2mbps, ours was actually recorded at 0.4 at one point. Alcohol seems to be cheaper than water and the student bar becomes a second home. Just a blurry pit of booze infused dreams and alcohol driven confessions of opinions or happenings in life which should never be brought to surface. I will admit to being the one guy of the group who is particularly partial to exclaiming a particular emotion towards another individual. This it not to say I regret it.

Back home, or in my case at least, the most common place for a piss up is the local Wetherspoons pub, 'The Oxted Inn'. It provides cheap beers, cheap food and a relatively comfortable setting. However, there are significant differences between getting pissed up at a student bar and getting trollied at a spoons.

The student bar is described in a previous blog but if you have not read it, and why wouldn't you have?!, here is a very brief outline. It is cheap and it is the only point of the week a student is actually content with life.

The Wetherspoons (or spoons as it is commonly referred as) is in itself a different level of pub. The theme of cheap booze still follows as with the student bar but with it comes 'non-students'. Most of them are fine. They are usual people with usual lives working usual jobs with a usual view on life. Some, however, are not.

For example...

You have the 'lone ranger'. This is the person who simply sits by himself with a pint and makes no act of humanly function. He (and it usually is a he) simply sits with one hand on his pint, his other resting on the bar and stares aimlessly into the abyss of the predictable furnishings of a spoons pub. He only moves to take a sip of alcohol or to purchase another. This is it. You don't pity the Lone Ranger because you know he is content with life. Not happy, not sad, just content.

There is the 'self-communicator'. This individual is similar to the Lone Ranger in that he or she (usually he) is sat by himself with an alcoholic beverage. Yet this remarkable being is able to give himself such wonderful company. He will stare at his pint muttering to himself before shouting a word or phrase out in a reply to his muttering. This goes on for hours and provides a humorous but slightly concerning watch. He will have no concern over anyone else in the pub but himself. He will firmly believe that his conversation is quite alright and that no others input is needed. I should add that this person is normally a raging alcoholic and doesn't begin his chattering until he is a few pints down the line.

Now the groups you get are normally pretty universal in any spoons pub. You have the work colleagues, self-explanatory.

You have the students who are either studying closely or back from studying having a catch-up with others whilst on uni break.

You have the teens.  The teens are those who have just turned the legal age for alcoholic consumption and think they are the kings of banter and booze and have all the knowledge into getting wavy; I absolutely detest this word by the way but some people think it is in fact an appropriate term for getting drunk.

You have the alcoholics. They are usually in at opening and long gone before the evenings comes about. Strength in numbers seems to be their motto as they are always in a group of 3-7.

There is the 'family'. This is normally an innocent family who have come in a little too late to get a bite to eat and the parents watch on in horror as the pub floods with people ready to get drunk ASAP. They try to continue normal conversation but it is usually hopeless. They just urge their innocent and perfect kids to eat up so they can leave the abomination they find themselves in before shaking their heads as they leave.

Perhaps the most irritating group is what I like to call 'The Wankers'. The wankers are those with a ridiculous haircut and a dress sense which consists of tight jeans, Nike Roshes and some fancy designer top that they have grossly overpaid for. They are often laughing at other groups so that they can inflict they superiority over the pub. They think they are god's gift to women and thus a complete wanker. They spend their nights either discussing how amazing a lads holiday was four years ago or what female they have recently had sexual relations with.

This mixture of people is not usually seen in a student bar, everyone is there after a week at uni and just wants to get drunk. At a spoons the motives for drinking are completely varied. That is not to say either are better or worse. I love both the student bar and the Spoons. But the biggest difference is that I hope to be only in the spoons during my 20s. Any later and I might become the Lone Ranger or worse, the Self-communicator.

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