Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Railway Station Bars

I think that those bars that are to be found near railway stations are invariably the more interesting wherever you go in the world. The customers usually include ne'er-do-wells, tramps, itinerants, low lifes, and all the bottom feeders of this wonderful world in which we live. And a place where the Combo genes feel instantly at home of course.
A Sunday trip to Milan became, because of the Byzantine workings of the Italian State Railway timetabling system, a true endurance test (78 miles = 4 hours) with many opportunities to change trains and change bars. Normally of course, one runs up a tab in an Italian bar and coughs up at the end of the session. But those bars in the vicinity of railway stations have learnt to their cost that such largesse often ends in tears when shady types form their customer base.
I rather liked this sign with its diverse range of glassware asking punters to pay for their drinks immediately. Which I did of course. Campari and Soda topped up with a good slug of white wine, since you ask.


Diplomate said...

the continental "tab" plan caught me out in Sintra, Portugal a few years ago. Having been left in the square while some friends went to look at house for sale, i settled in to a few morning beers in the shade of a pavement bar. The empty bottles stay with you as a tally to make adding up the bill easier. After an hour, with 5 or 6 empties on the table, I got ready to leave...... my wallet was in the car, now an hour's drive away. Rather than cause a scene I decided to stay put and carry on drinking until my muckers arrived with my wallet. By three in the afternoon I had moved to a second table to make room for the empties and eventually paid for about 3 dozen San Miguels at tea time. What a day. Live and learn.

Peter Ashley said...

Mmm. Railway station bars. Manningtree, eh Ron?

Thud said...

I had a long drawn argument/fight on Italian train for refusing to pay fine...the police luckily enjoyed the conductor losing out on his scam.

Mark, Real-Ale-Reviews.com said...

My memories of Milan station are dashing outside to find somewhere cheap to eat before rushing back to meet a tight connection. I think we paid about 30 euro cents for a cheeseburger across the road. Shame we didn't have time for the bar.

We missed the bar at Pisa too, spent 4 hours trying to sleep on the coldest, hardest floor in the world.

Ah, inter-railing. I think signs like that appeared on the bar whenever we turned up anywhere in Europe!