Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Dion's night out at an Irish pub

Saturday 2 May 2009

After lazing around in the evening, eventually C, J & Dion decide to go to a pub to listen to Irish music. Since they only left home at 10 pm, I was simply not up for any more activity and decided to have a sandwich, shower and bed.

The tradition is alive and kicking!

I wanted that traditional experience of the vibe of an authentic Irish pub in Ireland: the music, the singalongs, the camaraderie. I don’t drink alcohol so I was a little apprehensive about how this would turn out. After all, in South Africa, there’s no such thing as going to a pub if you’re not drinking; it would be like going to a steakhouse for the salad (which Marcia does, BTW!)

So I put in my request with my friendly neighbourhood travel guide, aka my friend Craig. He’d heard about a good place on the opposite bank of the River Liffey to the pubs and restaurants of the more well-known Temple Bar district. We went looking for the place. It was around 10pm, nearly my bedtime, so this was an adventure for me. Living recklessly, on the edge.

Craig parked in Dublin and, like a bloodhound on the trail, led us (Jo and me – Marcia tiredly stayed home) through a few streets straight to it: a little corner pub. And it was just like you picture it. Cosy, packed full of people, chatting and laughing, their cheeks all a little red from the Guinness and other drinks! We squeezed through the throng, down the narrow section between the long bar and the little tables and chairs. Space was at a premium. After a few minutes, a couple left their barstools and we slid in to replace them. The Cokes started flowing. And I dived right into two packets of peanuts (as we hadn’t had supper yet!) I’d been hoping for a ‘pub lunch’ meal but this pub didn’t serve food.

The roaring in my stomach was soon forgotten, though, when the music started. Again, it was just how you’d imagine it: your toes start tapping as those Irish violins, pipes and drums energetically filled the place. Only four musicians created this full sound from their demarcated seating area near the front of the pub. We listened for hours and hours – it’s just that sort of music. Jo’s friend joined us and we all chatted away to the soundtrack of authentic Irish music.

This is something you just have to do in life.

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