Yes! We have your bananas!
This is the umpteenth time I find myself away from home. Of my own choosing of course, but everytime I leave the land of the free and the home of the brave there are those things left behind that I miss dearly. Yes, friends and family but at this particular moment I ache most for the fall flavors of a good October ale. And while I cannot walk to find those I love on the streets of Glasgow, I can do so in search of a familiar drink.
The trek in to town from Jordyn Hill is quiet, winding and crisp. Small shoppes line either side of the road. Hair dressers out number the cafes, and card stores cleverly named are dotted between Peckam's (an upity family chain store that has spread accross the West End like chicken pox, its trendy enough to have gotten away with it plus they have wine tastings). The streets are everything you think of from one of the few Britcoms that have strained between Hollywood's filter. Elderly ladies chat and caw on the small stoops infront of their flats, magpies flight over head, and yes, it is raining.
Hood raised, I pop in and out of stores in search of the carbonated pumpkin taste of home. There are Old Ales, Imperial Stouts, and Barley wines. Scottish Ales of a deep copper are said to be a sweet mouthful, with a low character of hops and a sugary malt. Still, I crave something else. The drink my friends much be toasting to at Braymiller's back home.
A shoppe across the street catches my eye. 'Odd Bins' its called. As I wait for the green man to permit my crossing (a lighted symbol that I still need to tell me its safe to cross the road), a sign in the window causes an audible laugh. "Yes! We have your bananas!" From the sign an arrow points down to a bag of bananas, the entire bunch left and browning.
Let me paint for you a picture of Scottish courtesy. While those of you who see Scotland as the wilds like that in Braveheart, I won't damage your image. Skirted men and bagpipes still inhabit these lands. But beneathe the kilts (I do not mean this literally) and thick brogue, the Scottish are a charming and considerate people. Just think, some poor bloke or forgetfull bird hapharzardly left a bag of bananas at a liquor store. I can only assume that it has been days due to the state of the fruit and yet the store has hung a sign as if the overrippened bag of bananas were a lost kitten.
While I wonder if the rightful owner will ever be reunited with his or her fruit, a man smiles and holds open the door to the shoppe. Nicities have been extended to me at every corner.
I left 'Odd Bins' empty handed, it was specifically a wine store, opened in the same year that JFK announced he was a donut. Although I did not get what I wanted, I got a little bit of what I needed. A swig of kindness and a taste of some friendly smiles, which is what I had really been missing from home.
My journey down the road was not fruitless, but for one person it was banana-less.