Monday, November 2, 2009

Pub Culture

Fish n chips. Ocean. Spanish arch. Bar and bulmer's NUIG. Pasta dinner. Verena's birthday. Wandering through Galway. Bar. Music. Bad dancing.

We woke up around 12. Half-way through Verena's birthday and all we had done was party and sleep. Which was ok I guess. Verena was very open to just experiencing Ireland. And as far as I can tell, Ireland needs to be experienced like a rainy day. Let the cold and gray sort of fade to the color injected by the people around you at a pace in line with tea time and the sunset.

So we went and got fish 'n chips at McDonagh's which is apparently quite famous. And it was good. And then we went to the ocean and I got to enjoy some coastal smells, sights, and just love the gray wind pushing through Galway. Down at the front they have a Spanish arch dating from the 1500's. It is a pretty little arch with that shows how small Europe really is. The Spanish used to trade in Galway. Pretty cool.

After the waterfront we headed to the NUIG (National University I of Galway) to see the campus. Alicia and her two friends, Elspeth and Emily, showed us around the campus and the cool bits.

Then the drinking culture showed itself. There is a prominent bar on the university campus, fully decked out, and apparently quite rowdy at night. We ordered Bulmer's, a hard cider that drinks like water, and made our way back home.

It was dark but it was only 6; going so far north is a sea change from sunny Spain. We went to the grocery store and got our fixings for dinner. I was excited by the prospect of eating a meal we cooked. And even though it was just pasta, it was great. Thus ended the PG part of the movie.

We obviously proceeded to immerse ourselves in the culture of Ireland and started drinking. was cheap and Verena wanted it for her birthday—which I guess is fine because no one complained.

Once we had enough alcohol to keep us warm, we wandered the streets of Galway to get into a pub that played indie music instead of club or pop music. Sitting down and hearing Spoon on the speakers is surprising after Spain's non-stop pop. The bar itself was empty but became crowded rapidly and was easily half-way full of people in costume.

The irish can't dance. It's like white people in America, but because they don't really get exposed to any good dancing (any other cultural minority) they just become a parody of their awful dancing. But they are cute and are definitely not as creepy as some of the people in other places. I suppose that's the trade-off. Basically I was proud of my ability to half-way move my hips to the beat.

And Verena got a guy to buy her a drink, and Alex got a hi five from a stranger as well as rubbed on the face by another, and Claire convinced someone she was Guatemalen and didn't speak any English, and we stumbled back home under the pretense that we could sing WELL in the streets but realized too late that the truth of our singing ability is a grossly obscured fact drowned out by the lie of our off key enthusiasm.

So we slept and I woke up to Halloween morning and it is really nice to have a living room and a fireplace with friends.