Upon arriving at the Glasgow airport from our redeye flight, we discovered that our rental car wasn't available yet. It seems that in the UK if you say you're going to pick up your car at 8 am, they take you literally and don't have a car ready for you at say, 7:15. So we went to have breakfast at the pub/restaurant while we waited.
One of my favorite pastimes is people watching, and there isn't a much better place to do this than at an airport. Some might say the beach is better, but I have to disagree. Just as often as not I see something on the beach I would rather not have seen.
As we sat there eating breakfast at 7:30 in the morning, I noticed a strange thing about the Glaswegians at the other tables. Instead of drinking coffee or tea, the majority of them were drinking beer, I even saw someone with a glass of wine. At 7:30 in the morning? Which begs the question, how early is too early in Glasgow? One of my dad's favorite sayings was, "It's five o'clock somewhere." I guess it doesn't specify five o'clock pm, I just always assumed that's what it meant.
I guess if the Scots are anything like my English in-laws, they know they'll be drinking tea every hour for the rest of the day, so why have it for breakfast too. And that is not a slam on my in-laws, I love them dearly. I just don't have the extra "tea stomach" that seems to be inherent to the British.
And I can't figure out why they don't drink coffee, although I know that sounds very American. For some reason, the coffee in the UK is about a million times better than what we have here. In fact, the description for an Americano on the menu was "a posh name for a regular coffee." Even their instant coffee is better. I had previously given up coffee because of my allergies, but I had to have one that morning because I didn't get much sleep on the flight. After tasting it I was ruined for the rest of the week and had to have one every morning. Why can't we have coffee like this in the states?
Maybe the difference is in the way the coffee is made. Instead of a giant coffee maker, most people make it in a french press. It takes up less room in their house, and I think it makes a better cup of coffee. Maybe they are starting with better coffee to begin with, but I buy some pretty good coffee and it never tastes like that. Or maybe it's the fact that you just don't see many people walking around with coffee "to go" in Scotland. I prefer this approach, although it might not seem so quaint if I lived there. It was a nice change to sit and enjoy my coffee, rather than just mindlessly consuming something while I walk. And besides, it gave me that much more time to sit and people watch.