In my younger days I was a seasoned traveller visiting the majority of countries in Europe to support the national football team.
More recently I have travelled further afield to both North and South America as well as Africa.
My first trip abroad was in 1987 to what was then Yugoslavia, and in those days we didn’t have mobile telephones.
As such, there was no way of keeping in touch, or meeting up with mates, so we had to devise a plan to ensure we remained together and to avoid anyone going AWOL.
The only way to do this was to find a bar that was large enough, and willing, to accommodate the massive amount of England fans that travel to every game.
Once “base camp” had been established a scouting party would be sent out to find another similar sized, and equally accommodating, local hostilery.
This meant that we had our two bars and those who weren’t intent on trying to drink these bars dry would be dispatched to the airport, bus and train stations to inform new arrivals where the majority of England fans could be found.
Safety in numbers and all that.
Hence the “two bar rule” was in place and we all knew that if ever we needed to find mates they were almost certainly going to be in one or the other of these two bars.
Even though technology has advanced so that now almost everyone has a telephone with maps, and even reviews of the local bars, the old stagers amongst us still maintain the two bar rule.
I realise that to the uninitiated it may appear ridiculous to think that we are visiting capital cities, packed with culture and sights to see, and yet we rarely venture any further than the two bars, but that’s just the way it is.
In next week’s column I will give examples of how the two bar rule has been strictly adhered to and the implications of doing so.