A Pub, which is short for “public house,” is the quintessential English meeting place. Many groups of friends will meet at these places before their night out, for a rugby or football match, or to just have a few pints.
Here in the United Kingdom some Americans experience culture shock. This is true for many sub- and counter cultures as well, such as pub culture. In the states bars are mainly for drinking unless it is a sports bar. Pubs on the other hand serve food throughout the night. Even ordering a drink at a full bar is different! In the states if the bar is too crowded you can form a line at a designated area of the bar, but here in England you will just have to find a place at the bar to be served. We found this out the hard way as one of the managers at the Goose, a local Grantham pub, poked fun at us and could tell we were “just off the boat.”
The pub is a timeless place, for what it means to us now and for what it means to those who have come before us. Many times we have been at the Goose and met “the regulars.” These range from people our age and a bit younger, to young professionals, and to people that are sixty plus. That range of age is not something you will find in many American bars.
From my experience the atmosphere in an English pub is much more accepting and social than in its American counterpart. On more than one occasion I have been invited to sit down with a group of English men and women to talk about the town, football, beer and many other things. Now when we see each other out we say hello and chat as if we have been friends for much longer than a week. It seems so much easier to make friends and converse. This is probably due to the comparatively low volume that music is played on in English pubs to American pubs.
Personally, I enjoy the English pub to the American bar. It is a more intimate setting to create and to perpetuate friendships. The friendships that I have made in the classrooms of Harlaxton College have been solidified at places such as the Apple Tap, the Blue Pig and the Goose.