I don't know exactly why but I sort of suspected that such a white, middle-class suburban environment as this might be hiding some pretty nasty racism. Last night at the bar I heard a Scottish accent announce, loudly and unashamedly to his neighbour (but so that everyone else could hear his opinion) that, 'I don't mind the Indians 'cos they work hard but I can't stand the Pakis.'
I tried to make my look in his direction as contemptuous as possible without tripping into threatening. I don't have the physique or the attitude to do threatening in any meaningful way so it would only ever lead to a beating.
The guys at the bar then, gleefully, chose to misunderstand (deliberately) the use of the word 'girlfriend' by the Russian woman who works at the pub. She was describing a friend who is female. They were enjoying the lesbian undertones. Pint of Sussex pulled I left the gathering. Must return alone soon.
I realise that I have spent insufficient time alone in the pub. It is almost impossible to make new relationships in a pub if you go in with company. I wonder how long it will take?
A pub I used to go to had the expression 'You're only a stranger here once' on the wall. Someone had removed the word 'once'.