Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Pubs: A culture in themselves
I want to try and capture my thoughts and memories of the pubs here in Ireland while they are still fresh. It has been a new experience for me. I am just not really "pub" material but I couldn't come to Ireland and not experience it. So, for Cam's birthday, I got a babysitter for the kiddos and Cam and I took a bus downtown. We started at Fibber Mcgees because a friend had told us the music was great. Unfortunately, the musicians were taking a break so we headed through that pub into Robinson's Saloon and ended up at Robinson's Bistro located upstairs. It's a bit like Alice in Wonderland, the pubs seem to intersect with one another taking you from one to the other. After we ate a good dinner we came back downstairs where there was standing room only and decided to head to Kellys Cellars. Kellys is "one" of the oldest pubs in town. As you walk in you feel like you've walked back in time. It's a good 'ole fashioned Irish pub with a blazing coal fire, good Guinness (Cam claims, I wouldn't know), good wine, and a friendly crowd. Cam and I obviously stand out the minute we talk and so it wasn't long before we were meeting new people who were asking us what we were doing in Belfast. We meet a table full of boistrious fellows who easily joked with one another and bantered in the 'ole Irish way. It was easy to see why so many are drawn to the pub life. Here is a place were we were easily accepted and the "regulars" were eager and geniune in their interest of including us into the conversation. As Cam and I got up to take our leave the "regulars" shook our hands and one of the "older" gentlemen gave me a kiss on the cheek with an encouragement that we should quickly return. I am sure I won't make it a habbit and probably won't return but it was a very enlightening cultural experience for me. I don't know why but I felt like it was a bit like trying out a new church for the first time.