Pure Dumb Luck, or, A Girl Walks Into a Bar

By Sarah Chamberlain

A Girl Walks Into a Bar . . . And says “Ouch!”

No, actually, she doesn’t. It’s a cheap joke, anyway. What she really says is an R-rated version of “Oh no.” You see, I (being the girl in question) have walked into the student union bar alone during my first week in Edinburgh, and realized that I know absolutely no one here. I had come to the bar to join in the first pub quiz of the school year (pub quizzes being like trivia nights at bars in the States), and only when I stood looking out at a sea of tables full of laughing, carousing Scots did I understand what had just happened. I’m ashamed to say that I was utterly terrified in that moment. All I wanted to do was turn tail and run back to my mostly-empty student flat. But then I paused. My choices were A) go home, and spend the rest of the night surfing the net and talking to the friends I had left in California, or B) push my fear aside and actually meet some 800px-edinburgh_haymarket_pub_dsc06376actual British people. After a second or two more, I managed to pull my courage out from under a suffocating blanket of self-doubt, and started scanning the crowd for a quiz team to join. Out of the corner of my eye I spotted three people sitting at a table, with some tantalizingly empty chairs next to them. Newly brave me walked over, introduced myself, and asked if I could join them. They looked me up and down, looked at each other, and said “Sure, why not.” Heaving a deep inner sigh of relief, I plunked down into one of the chairs and started chatting to them. As more people filtered in, I was introduced to various members of the group: Leah, John, and Mark had been the ones to let me join them, even though it turned out I’d stolen Cameron’s seat. Late arrival Doug completed the team. I chatted with everyone, learning that they were recent Edinburgh graduates who had known each other for years. As the quiz continued, I realized that my store of utterly random trivia knowledge was coming in handy for once in my life, as I came up with a steady stream of answers to questions on topics ranging from the populations of French cities to baseball teams. And lo and behold, our team won! After dividing up the cash prize, John turned to me and asked if I wanted to come quizzing with them the next night. I was not stupid, and saw that this was a huge opportunity. I said an immediate, possibly-slightly-overenthusiastic “Yes!” I met up with the group the next night, and victory was ours once again. Things snowballed from there, and the group ended up being among my closest friends in Edinburgh.

superrobotmonkeyAnd so I’m proud to call myself a member of Super Robot Monkey Team Hyperforce Go!

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Gulliver helps students Study Abroad. Our blog covers: current issues in Study Abroad; featured posts by Study Abroad students; and Gulliver updates, news, and behind-the-scenes peaks. Thanks for reading!

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