For the past few years, I have been working as a hostess in a busy pub in the Boat Quay area.
I started when I was only 18, so I’ve seen a lot of characters coming and going over the years. I’ve seen the same faces, the same types of people, and the same conversations.
There’s one type of customer that stands out, however – the middle-aged man who comes in alone. He orders a pint, sits at the bar, and chats away with me and anyone else who’s around.
These men, typically in their 40s and 50s, come in alone and for a very specific purpose. They come to drink a pint and chat away with anyone who will listen.
Some of them are regulars, and I know them by name. Others are just passing through. But all of them are looking for something – companionship and conversation.
I’ve noticed that many of these men seem lonely. They’re often divorced or separated or just single, and don’t have a partner to talk to.
As a result, they come to the pub to have a conversation with someone. They tell me stories about their lives, their work, and the people they know.
They often talk about the problems they’re facing and the things they’re struggling with.
The pub has become a safe space for these men. It’s a place where they can come to escape their loneliness and talk about their problems without judgement.
I’ve seen many of these men over the years come out of their shells and become more confident in themselves. It’s amazing to witness, and it’s part of the reason why I love being a hostess.
I don’t think these men would come to the pub if they had someone to talk to at home. They come here because they’re lonely and need someone to talk to.
It’s sad to see, but it’s also heartening to see how these men have found a place where they can be themselves and feel accepted.