Living abroad, it can get easy to feel apart. I know I often get a little homesick, or have an interaction or even a couple of days that remind me that in some subtle but key ways I am an outsider. But a group of friends and I have somehow managed to become part of the British Pub “Lock-In” culture.
The Royal Blenheim is a perfect British Pub for American students. To start, it is one of the few pubs that has multiple televisions for sports viewing. It retains its British character with wood panelling and a wide selection of hand-pulled ales. And we are always made to feel welcome for a game of darts or cards, often joined by the pub-manager, his wife, and other members of the staff. The past two weekends, we have heard last call, watched as other patrons were shooed out the door, and smiled as the bar has been re-opened just for us.
Living abroad can be lonely, intimidating, or maybe just a little uncomfortable. But certain events remind you that you are really here, a part of it, locked in.