What's the Craic

Trip Start Nov 29, 2005
Trip End Nov 21, 2006

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Flag of Ireland  ,
Sunday, October 8, 2006

Within an hour of arriving in Ireland, I had a beer in my hand. Not only was this some sort of personal record, I could also rationalize it as getting acclimated to the culture. It was also exactly as I planned it. The rest of my time in Ireland, it seemed, wouldn't be.

I was set to spend a little under a week in Ireland before flying over to Glasgow. As I envisioned it, I would spend a few nights in Dublin with CJ, my three neighbors from Ios and the other random Irish I knew. I'd then take the train across the Emerald Isle to Galway, where I had a few friends and heard had the best nightlife and culture in Ireland, and then cross back to fly out. But I also knew Adrian (who had flown into Dublin a day earlier) would be exerting a lot of peer pressure for me to join him on a road trip.

I got into Dublin around 11:30 pm, checked into the hostel Adrian had reserved for me (good thing too, it was the last bed in the place) and headed to the Temple Bar district where CJ and Adrian were waiting for me -- and from the sound of it, had been waiting there a long time. Adrian was also with two friends from home -- Kate, his brother's girlfriend and Heather Obuch (as in oh fuck, Adrian's nickname of choice for her). Heather might be the victim of the worst 'reply all' mishap ever. I'll leave it at that to protect the less-than-innocent.

Within seconds of walking into St John's Gogarty I was reunited with Adrian and CJ and well on the way to catching up when CJ presented me with a pint of Guinness and shot of tequila (and for the record, everybody had been telling me the Guinness is better in Ireland, and it is, very smooth and very delicious -- and therefore very dangerous). Shortly thereafter Adrian pulled me aside and threw his arm around my shoulder to share with me a special secret. "I'm fucking horny," he shouted. Yes, it was good to be back.

Over the course of several more beers, Adrian set out convincing me to come along on his road trip with Kate and Heather, how it'll be so cheap, how we'll see the whole country, how much fun we'd have going out every night (it was so nice to have the crazy Adrian back, he was so boring when he was on his best behavior up until Oktoberfest). Maybe it was his powers of persuasion or maybe it was all the alcohol, but I finally succumbed and decided I'd be scrapping my plans -- once again.

With that settled and the girls gone back to the hostel, we were free to step up the night a notch (the one catch to Adrian's change of ummm, emotions, was he couldn't 'misbehave' with hometown friends finding out). On the advice of the taxi driver, we decided to check out the Viper Room, and paid our 10euro cover when the big, burly bouncers assured us it was good inside. And rest assured, it was awful. There was no one inside and within seconds we turned around to leave. We tried to get our money back, but the bouncer wouldn't have any of it, even though we tried all the excuses (we were 'meeting friends' who hadn't showed up, it sucked inside, we were in for 30 seconds, yada yada yada) and finally gave up when Adrian had the brilliant idea of calling the guy a cockhead. You can't go on a road trip if you're in a coma, so that's where I ended the night.

Or so I thought. I got back to my room pissed to find someone had nicked my Lonely Planet but happy to see that my two roommates were very cute. So I started talking to Aoife and Sam. And then all their friends started pouring in. Next thing I knew, there were nine crazy kids on holiday from Birmingham bouncing around the room, a bottle of vodka was involved and I was in Aoife's bed (drinking vodka...). It was a great time and it meant that Birmingham now had a spot on the England itinerary. It also meant the road trip would be getting off a to a rocky start.
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socalggal2 on

Cheers To You!
Your trip to Ireland sounds like it was quite an experience! Ever since seeing a screening of the soon-to-be released film, Red Roses And Petrol, I've been dying to visit Ireland to soak in the scenery myself. In the movie, there was also a whole lot of drinking... and dancing! But the characters were also in mourning for their father. So I was wondering: Just how prevalent is drinking in that culture? Or is it just a generalization people make about the Irish?

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