So what is a simple ex-pat to do when they are looking to get away for the weekend, to find a place where it is acceptable to act a fool a bit and not be an oddity in the crowd? Why Dublin of course! At least this is the idea that my good friend (Kapil) and I had back in January of 2012 (plus you can't beat a EUR 99 flight). So it was settled two gents on the town for a weekend of drink and maybe some sightseeing along the way. So Friday and time to jet, I meet up with Kapil to catch the train to the airport and as we got to the airport we were provided a little bit of foreshadowing as to what the weekend would have in store. After throwing an elbow or two to disperse the crowd** we make our way to the escalator to the terminal. So in front of us is a German guy and he must have heard us speaking English or something because out of nowhere this guy looks at us and exclaims, "George Bush is zee BEST! Fuck zee rest!" Needless to say were a bit taken aback by this and quite frankly we both realized after the fact that it was massive fail on our part to not chase him down and get this on film...pretty sure we would have become YouTube millionaires or something.
Now in the planning phases of the trip our other friend (Mark) said that he was contemplating joining us but it would be a last minute add. As he worked for the airline finding a last minute deal wouldn't be such the issue for him, but as we were entering the airport Mark hadn't contacted either of us to provide the thumbs up or down on if he would be joining, so a friendly bet of the first Guinness was waged and I am happy to say I won as we rounded the corner to the gate and saw Mark waiting for us. So now it was three gents on the town for a weekend of drink and sightseeing...maybe.
So upon landing in Dublin and checking into the hostel (yes I said hostel, and yes I know I am 32) we were off to figure out what to do on a Friday night in Dublin. Well it just so happens that the top 10 hostlels in Dublin (not sure what that criteria is, no bed herpes, maybe?) host a pub crawl on a nightly basis. What better way to be immersed in the drinking culture of a city then by taking a guided tour of the local watering holes where they feed you free booze on the way into each place (ok...maybe not the best way, but don't knock it they are fun). So the first few bars weren't that much to write home about, just the three of us having a few beverages and telling jokes, but the 3rd bar now that is were the night started to turn interesting because they had BEER PONG! So Kapil and I were all in and secured a table and pitchers to play, all we needed were opponents. So as we were about to try and recruit some opponents, a few American college students asked to join in the fun and it turns out neither of them had played before as they both attended a very religious college and could get kicked out for drinking (not BYU, but some joint in PA). At any rate it turns out that these two young lasses were studying abroad in Dublin and were basically using their study abroad as an opportunity to rebel against their institution of higher learning (and maybe some other deep rooted issues, who knows). So making it a fair match we both teamed up with one of the young bucks and played a few games of pong. I should mention that my team won all three games played as I was supposedly sandbagging my skills per Kapil (seriously though I suck at beer pong and happened to catch fire this night).
|Mark and his we need more drinks face at closing time|
Now about 10-15 minutes after the fact when I had my wits back about me (and more so now, a few months after the fact) I realize how irrational my thinking was at the time. Fire alarm? Please, I know from my years in the restaurant and movie theatre business that these things just make a loud ass noise, no triggering of any alarms...because jackasses like me set them off all the damn time. We were true fugitives...fugitives of our wild and drunken imaginations. Alas, we started to head back to the hostel and figured a night cap was in order, so off to another bar...but only to be denied entrance as we had lost track of the time (or were just used to Germany's lax cut off) and it was past the bar hour of 2:30...no room at the inn for our livers. Just then however there was a ray of hope...ah yes, a Ray's New York Pizza! Just what the doctor ordered. Now Ray's and I have a bit of a history, maybe someday I will recap other stories of my life, but this time it was just a friendly transaction. No shenanigans, just a damn fine slice and a good way to end the evening.
|At the St. James Gate|
So after a quick stop back to the hostel to change, it was off for night 2 on the town...edition Temple Bar. Now for those of you who haven't been to Dublin, Temple Bar is basically a street one block off of the river that is just a row of bars. So our goal, start at the top and hop from bar to bar and make our way back down to the hostel and the other end of the road. With ambition on our side we were off. Now I can't say there was much going on that turned this into as an eventful of an evening as our Friday and quite frankly I think we all went all in with our chips on Friday. Still a night was to be had, and as we progressed from bar to bar and beer to beer, we picked up some steam, chatted up a few locals, danced with some crazy Russians to Bruce Springsteen, and wound up right back where we started at the Temple Bar (not to be confused with the street, but this is an actual bar). In Temple Bar, as I was coming back from the bathroom, I started chatting up a few guys who asked me where I was from, and when I said Ohio the one immediately started in with "Ohhhhh....we don't give a damn about the whole state of M*ch*g*n." I had a new friend. Apparently, this guy had spent some time in Ohio during his studies and thought the whole rivalry was fantastic. I couldn't agree more, but after a few drinks I need to go an locate Mark and Kapil. Once meeting back up, it was quickly bar time again and we were back on the street with our thirst and no place to go.
I would be remiss if I didn't mention a bit more about my friend Mark at this point. Now as I have stated, Mark is an Englishman who is easily one of the funniest people I have come across in my time here in Germany, and some of his one liners and stories were easily the highlight of this trip. Unfortunately, I cannot remember how some of them came up, but a few of his gems were 1) describing how one girls outfit make her look like a bloody Christmas ham, 2) telling a tale about a man who was on the telly as the self proclaimed UK wanking champion, and 3) his brief oral history of Oscar Wilde.
|The students at Trinity practice safe sex|
|One last look upon Dublin|
** This is something I will not comprehend, but at every crowded train stop the people who are attempting to get on the train never provide a way for you to get off. I mean it seems like simple logic that I have to leave the train before they can enter the train, but this seems to be a massive fail each and every time...confounding.