Imagine a real life "Mos Eisley Cantina"

From Star Wars Wookiepedia:

“The Mos Eisley Cantina, also known as Chalmun’s Cantina, was a drinking and dining establishment located in the city of Mos Eisley on the desert world of Tatooine. Although a dimly lit tavern known for frequent outbreaks of violence, it was a popular stopping point for pilots, making it an ideal place to hire crew for a starship.”

Ok do you all think there could be a real world type of place? Possible locations:

  1. Located near a major harbor or other location for incoming and outgoing freight.

  2. Located in some small and barely policed country like say Somalia where people looking to do business “off the record” would come in and meet.

  3. Located in a seedy part of town where police take a hands off approach and both members of the criminal underworld, legitimate business owners, and government officials wishing to do business off the record, could meet.

Some possible parameters are that it pretty much has its own set of rules and enforcers. Management has the right to include or exclude anyone it feels like. Because of this most major crimes occurring there do not get reported to authorities. It’s also a legitimate business with great drink, food, and music.

Sort of like “Rick’s Place” in Casablanca.

Do you all think such places have existed or are still around today?

I’d say a backstreet bar in Poipet on the Cambodian side of the Thai border would qualify.

I’ve never been there but every description I’ve ever heard of the place makes me think of a wretched hive of scum and villainy. That wikitravel article intro is written by someone who doesn’t think it deserves its bad reputation, but the rest of the article is about its scams and lawlessness.

Imagine what the bathroom must be like in the Star Wars Mos Eisley Cantina, it would need to accommodate all the various genitalia and waste elimination methods.

Mad Magazine

I read an sf novel where the bathrooms in an alien bar are labelled “Squirters,” “Oozers,” and “Emitters.”

Historically speaking they claim that their were plenty of waterfront dives where you had as much as a chance of being Shanghaied you as being served a drink. Whether there’s anyplace like that today I couldn’t say.

Linky no worky.

Probably this one (like doesn’t work for me either).

Portland, Oregon comes to mind.

Got it - thanks.

Cuz that’s where the slang term “shanghaied” originated :smiley:

… or because it’s a hotbed of strip joints?

No…there were bars where we might be sitting and drinking when uh-oh a trapdoor opens and the next thing we know we are on a ship…working. Its part of the underground Portland tour.

Yup, but from what I heard on a TV show, the phenomenon you just described in Portland is the origination of the usage of “shanghaied”.

Sorry…I misunderstood :o


I should add that I once took a boat down a tributary of the Mongla River in Bangladesh. It was a mass of mangroves and in one remote river basin there rose a huge dune of mud with nothing else around it but water, then millions of square miles of tiger-infested swamp, and on top of the dune were three wooden huts.

The guys on the boat indicated that this was where fishermen and commercial boat workers went to frequent prostitutes. I’m still haunted by the thought of the lives of those poor women, absolutely unable to escape their deadly environment, sitting in these shacks, just waiting to be abused.

It’s not like George Lucas originated the concept!

Once again, check out TV Tropes. Their “Wretched Hive” page includes a section devoted to Real Life examples.

Poipet would certainly qualify, but I did not visit any cantinas there, just passed through on my way to Angkor Wat.

But I have visited quite a few candidates that could claim to be the model for Mos Eisley here in Thailand, in both Bangkok and Pattaya.