A Glass of Water

Several years ago, when I studied in Yorkshire, England, one winter weekday, I made an overnight solo trip to Edinburgh, Scotland, to visit a university there and meet with a professor. I would have loved to stayed there longer since it was my first time to visit any part of Scotland, but unfortunately, it was during a school term, and a one-night trip was all I could accommodate.

After about four-hour train ride, I arrived at Edinburgh railway station just before sunset. It was a good thing that there was still light outside. On my way to the youth hostel, I once walked in the opposite direction, followed by a few wrong turns, and it ended up taking much longer to get to the hostel. Without daylight, I would have panicked.

Nonetheless, by the time I reached my hostel, the night had fallen. After checking in, I thought of going out for dinner. The briefness of this trip allowed me no time for sightseeing, so, at least I could visit a local pub and feel the city’s atmosphere.

The friendly receptionist gave me a local map and a list of good pubs nearby.

“Will I be able to eat haggis there?” I asked her eagerly.

Earlier that day, my flatmate had told me that haggis was one of the typical Scottish foods I could try, and I did not want to miss the chance.

“Yes, I’m sure all of them serve haggis.”

Reassured by the answer, I headed out to the nearest pub, which was also the receptionist’s favourite, all excited to try the very first haggis in my life.

The pub was old, clean, and well-furnished. I was one of their first evening customers. As I sat at a beautiful, round, wooden table, I heaved a sigh of relief – I was finally here! The travelling was done. Now it was time to relax and enjoy!

I assumed from the furniture and the atmosphere that this pub must belong to an expensive kind, designed for sophisticated people, whatever that meant. I checked the content of my wallet. Enough for food, but let’s drop the idea of a beer.

When a lady staff came to take my order, I ordered haggis and, a little apologetically, a glass of water – it felt like a little crime not to order any drink at a pub.

As I quietly waited at my table, she brought me a glass of water. It was a thin and tall cylindrical glass. Even though the content was only a tap water, the elegant glass made it look like a drink from the official menu.

After marvelling at the beauty of the water, I took a sip.

“Oh, my…!!”

I lost words for a second as the sweetness of the water spread across my tongue. My eyes were wide with surprise and delight. I took another sip.

It was the most delicious glass of water that I had ever had in my entire life. So pure, so sweet, so mellow. I could not get over it. I finished the entire glass before my haggis arrived, and I asked for another glass.

The haggis was also very delicious, but it was almost nothing compared to the taste of the water! The way the water melted in my mouth and nourished every part of my body was mind-blowing and unforgettable.

My dinner at the pub was probably the most touristic thing I did during that brief trip. But it worth so much. The taste of the tap water I had at the old local pub will always remain in my memory with a sense of awe and delight.