Holes in the Walls

I play pool in a lot of different places. Not all of them merit being mentioned here for posterity because they aren’t good enough. I mean, I don’t mind talking about a place that was a real dump. It happens. It’s worth remembering if only for comparison. But a lot of other places really have nothing to do with pool other than having a table. I may play on it but here I really wanna focus on the places that appear to legitimately be striving, at one level or another, to be known as a place to shoot pool.

That doesn’t mean there aren’t fun times had at some of the unmentionable locales.

For instance I’m in Hanoi in the Quang An area after dinner. I’m walking down a dirt road and I see a place advertising whiskey. That’s worth a peek inside as my usual haunts don’t have much in the whiskey respect. But then I come around a corner and see they also have a pool table!

This place doesn’t show up on Google maps and even if it did based on my criteria above it wouldn’t be worth mentioning. But I had a great time shooting here for several hours with a group of guys. We couldn’t understand each other but we knew how to play pool and were willing to forego the niceties of conversation in order to do so. It wouldn’t be worth going back to this place. The bathroom alone is one of the strongest memories of the evening and not in a good way. Which is saying a lot because I’ve seen some pretty atrocious latrines in a lifetime of shooting pool.

Still, I appreciated the opportunity to spend time not alone, shooting pool, having a drink, and remembering that even when the table isn’t great and the cues aren’t straight I still enjoy a game of pool a lot. So just because I don’t mention a place doesn’t mean it isn’t possible to have a good time there. I just wouldn’t recommend a shooter go looking for it solely on the basis of the quality of the pool table and experience.

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