The life of a final year student: part 3 – comfort drinking

First published 9th November 2010

Is there a more embarrassing situation when you’re out with new friends than being asked for ID in a bar? Apparently so, as I found out on Friday night; there’s the added embarrassment that far outweighs the initial red-cheekedness of not actually having your driving licence with you and consequentially being refused a drink. I wouldn’t mind, but I think the last time this happened was so long ago I was actually underage.

It’s week 5 of the semester, or week 14 as the lecturers call it for some inexplicable reason. Whichever week it is, everyone is pretty settled in: modules are fairly well understood by this point, or at least should be, friends have been made and routines have been established, or is it re-established?

The Haworth Arms, the local for Hull students

As I’ve lived in the city far longer than my social counterparts I arguably have been visiting the bars, cafes and other desirable places surrounding the student community a lot longer too. This means I’d long ago found my ‘usuals’, I knew where I like to go out, where I like to sit in these places, what I like to drink and eat, exactly how much this will cost me, and most importantly that the bar staff will find my face vaguely familiar and won’t find the need to ask me for ID. The saga of new friends rids this routine of any relevance however when they decide to venture into new territory.

I fear this paragraph may put my social age decades ahead of me when I say that trying somewhere new is leaving the safety of comfort behind rather than giving somewhere else a chance to provide a night of enjoyment just as well, and that’s coming from someone who likes to travel. Above: The Haworth Arms, the local for Hull students. The Old Town was our destination, the Sail Maker’s Arms to be precise. It’s not a bad place really; reasonable prices and interesting décor teamed with the teenage boy management, who was for some reason dressed in a low-cut woman’s top, but that’s for him to contemplate. The venture into the new environment seemed to be going fairly well until I asked for my habitual pint of cider. Instead of being presented with my drink of choice I was presented with a challenge: prove my age or be declined. I might not have yet reached the age where it’s normal to leave the house without ID, but I haven’t used it in so long this had left my mind entirely, as the look of surprise on my face may have read. Seeing as this was 5th November, my pockets had been stuffed full of gloves, loose change and not a lot else besides a card-shaped slot where a driving licence would have fit nicely. Due to this I spent the evening sipping lemonade between others’ visits to the bar when they smuggled my drinks for me while I sat hiding in the corner, feeling all of 17 years old. Sometimes it really is best to stick to what you know.

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