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August 30, 2004
Just Say No

I just returned from a short jaunt to the Royal Burgh of Elgin, in Scotland. Never heard of it? It’s in the heart of whiskey country — so all you Glenlivet or Chivas fans would have a field day in this general area, which is chock full of distilleries, all giving tours and, of course, samples. There’s just one thing — the service (hotels, restaurants, etc.) here is very odd. The not-so-short story: This is the land of “no.” Want a cappucino from room service at 9:30 a.m.? No! (The machine takes 15 minutes to warm up.) Lunch ordered at 2:15? No! Want to get into a bar at midnight? No! (Gotta be in there by 10:30 to stay that late.) And, my favorite “no” happened at a pub. I was with two friends, we all ordered fish-n-chips (hey, when in Rome...) and one appetizer to share. The guy brings the appetizer, but only one set of utensils. Want other utensils? All together now — NO! Apparently the rule is that you only get one set of utensils per plate. Never mind that we had 3 plates of fish-n-chips on order, they wouldn’t give us those utensils until they brought us those plates. So, if you’re planning on traveling to the Scottish countryside, I suggest you travel with (a) your own coffee and (b) a set of utensils, like these from L.L. Bean. I certainly won’t go back without them. $20.

Purchase online at llbean.com.

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