The Long Bar: What's in a name?


In the hot and sandy beaches of Watamu in the South Coast lies the enchanting Medina Palms. FILE PHOTO | COURTESY

I was lying on my bed in my room at Medina Palms in Watamu thinking about a girl — my teenage daughter. Unprovoked, I picked up the hotel phone and dialled 100.

“Why is your bar called The Long Bar?” I asked the lady who answered. She sounded puzzled.

She said, “Please hold.” I held. Someone else came on the line. “Did you want to order something from the bar, sir?” I said no.

I just wanted to know why The Long Bar is called The Long Bar. They said, “Well, it’s because it’s got a very long counter.” Ah, OK, thanks. Long counter.

The AC hummed a whispery lullaby, but another question buzzed in my bonnet. So I called again.

“Excuse me, so when you say a long counter, how long are we talking about?” There was a pause. “I’m sorry, sir?”

I told them we had just spoken about The Long Bar. “Oh, sorry, that must have been my colleague,” they said.

“Would you like to order something?” I said no, thanks. I wanted to know how long the bar is. The bar counter? Yes, the bar counter. [Pause] “Please hold,” they said. I held.

A man came on the line, he sounded chirpy and bushy-tailed like he was hopping on his hind legs like a kangaroo.

“You wanted information about the bar, sir?” I said I did. “How long is the bar counter at The Long Bar?” Without hesitation, he said, “I don’t know, but it can sit 10 people.”

I nodded, tried picturing 10 people seated, elbow to elbow, backs to the room, and drinks on the gorgeous long copper counter.

He then added: “It’s also called the Long Bar because it opens at 6:30 am and closes at 11 pm.” Yeah, that’s a long time.

“Would you like to order something, sir? I make great cocktails.” I said I was a teetotaller. [A blatant lie]. “That’s okay, I make great mocktails too.”

I said I would come and try it out later. [Another lie, only sociopathic men drink mocktails].

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