February 15, 2010

Reflections and Drinking in Ireland (part V)

The Temple Bar Pub (3.75 out of 5)

47/48 Temple Bar, Dublin 2

It may not seem like much to look at, but looks can be deceiving. The Temple Bar is named for Sir William Temple (for whom the entire district is also named). So to recap: Temple Bar is a single establishment within a larger district known as Temple Bar. Confused? Who cares!?!? The former is one large, single floor bar. Despite having three bar areas, the place is so crowded it can literally take 20-30 minutes to get drinks.

If you do go to The Temple Bar get ready for a dark and loud feeling reminiscent of a club. The entire flow of the bar would work well, if there were a fire marshal at the door. Slipping through the throngs of tight pant wearing Euro-guys can make you yearn for the days of baggy pants. At least then there was reassuring mystery as to which things you bumped into trying to find an, almost surely non-exsistant, open table. One thing you will find is police officers, or at least evidence of some. Be sure to check out the bar post in the front corner with police patches from around the world.

You will also meet regular folks from around the world. Or, a greasy, 30 something Italian guy begging a table full of disinterested students to move the party to a, "disco!" My friend Andrew made a fine impression on the tourist population of Dublin and won, "Ireland Trip MVP," for getting so drunk at this bar that random foreigners we had never met were whispering in my ear, "Your friend is so drunk." The magnitude of the feat is only enhanced by the fact that, as previously mentioned, it was incredibly hard to procure any drinks. Yet, with a few well placed elbows, a flurry of inquistive questions like, "are you gonna finish that babay gurl?" and sheer determination, Andrew rang in a night for the record books and kept his drinking dignity. A good day for America too as in the dark cluttered mess of Temple Bar lay a veritable United Nations of drinking talent. If you are lucky, you might meet: Tall Canadians, Seemingly Neutral Swiss, and Gypsies.

Well, you would not be lucky to meet Gypsies. Since Romania’s admission to the EU, it has been particularly easy for Gypsy beggars to inhabit the tourist center of Dublin. A word of advice: don’t give them any money. Andrew gave one an American quarter (in a shrewd plan to trick the Gypsies and devalue the Euro by circulating American currency) and was immediately mobbed by half a dozen shrouded beggars of the night. The seemingly neutral Swiss and myself (never much for neutrality to begin with) sprang into action and swatted the Gypsies away like so many mayflies descending to the shore for their short lifetime. Basically, we got hammered and slapped at Gypsies… but not before rocking out with a great house band! I cannot remember a time that any song, much less the U2 classic, “With or Without You,” has ever been drunk sung louder than, “Don’t Stop Believin’ !” Can you imagine: A chorus of young people from around the world, uniting under the banner of inebriation, and singing the anthem of an entire generation of Irishmen? See, this is when I wish the UN and English Soccer would hire me as President of American Marketing. Even this accomplishment could not be as memorable as…

The Laurels Pub

Main Street, Killarney

(5 out of 5)


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