Around Ireland with a Suit

Ireland Travel Blog

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After another night as a guest of the Nallen family, I collected ALL of my stuff[2].   The suit and shoes and other dress up gear were crammed into the bottom of my pack and that was the last I saw of them for the trip.  The weight was unwelcome but shipping the stuff home was cost prohibitive. 

I caught the morning bus to Galway. It was going to be Monday night when I got there so I wasn’t expecting anything much.  Just a quiet beer and a look see[3].  Little was I expecting so much nightlife, lots of live music and laughter and having fun over beers and whisky.  <!--[endif]-->
Unfortunately, I had a burrito that didn’t agree with me and was sick as a dog all night long.  I was in Dublin the following night but decided that I should stay in and recover for the last leg of journey, Belfast. 
Belfast is still a part of the British Empire and as we all know, there are plenty of overly passionate Irish who are not too happy about it.  The passion has subsided in past years but the past still is seen in the murals depicting the allegiance to what ever side the artist is on.  There is still a wall separating the neighborhoods that support either side of the issue. 

It is coming around though and tourism and business investment are on the rise.  Don’t expect a great night Life.  At least not yet,  Belfast has a long way to go before it ranks up there with Dublin for nightlife.  In Dublin, you can put on a new pair a shoes in one bar, hit 10 more the same night and barely scuff the soles.  Belfast hasn’t figured out how to cluster there entertainment so that a decision to try a new place frequently involves enough time to sober up and realize that the girl you just picked up isn’t the 10 you thought she was[4]. 
My stay was short and my last leg of the trip was a quick stop in London to seem some friends that I had met during previous world adventures.
I have been to London before and found it to be a just another big city with out a lot of personality.  So I was eager to meet up with my friends who live out in the suburbs.  I asked them to take me on a typical Friday night out  experience.  They laughed and stocked up on aspirin for the next morning.
The first night was an after work get together with my friend and her co-workers.  All employees of a law firm specializing in serving the lower end of England’s social-economic strata.  The location was the Goose on the Green Tavern in Catford, England (  They say I am probably the first American to set foot in the place let alone in the town of Catford.  The best way to describe Catford is that a Law Office supporting the perennially legally challenged is conveniently located to the clientel and will stay really busy.  The only available spot for our large party was to share a booth with a stout and stern looking young lady sitting by herself.  As the night wore on and the drinks flowed, I noticed the stout young lady looking at me in her stern way.  Being as how I just got off of a liver straining 2 weeks in Ireland, my rating system was still pretty accurate.  After a while she got up and sat with a much less stout friend.  Her friend was not as imposing and I would have to say not beer goggle ugly.  The next time it was my turn to buy, I headed to the bar but was stopped by the stout girl and her less stout friend before I could get there.  The stout girl said she was from the Canary Islands and demanded I buy her 2 drinks[5].  While at the same time the less stout friend was professing her undying hatred for me[6].  Of course I said “No Way Jose"[7].Not realizing that I wasn’t wearing my run away shoes.  Somehow I extricated my self and returned to the safety of the Lawyer’s table[8].  I could feel the hairy Canary eyeball on me all night, but got out of there unscathed.  Which perplexed my friends since it was an obvious sure thing and probably destined to be an experience that I would remember all my life[9].  I have learned a lot about the dating rituals of the English and Irish on this trip but the year is running short so maybe next year I devote a paragraph  or two them. 
The rest of the trip was low key but with an interesting visit to the Camden Market in Northwest London.  Said to be the most popular (if not largest) open-air market area with numerous stalls, shops, pubs and restaurants.  A Look At Me!!!, Look At Me!!! freak show that is the highlight of any trip to London, (not counting Catford).  Plus due to a rather bizarre loophole in English drug laws, hallucinogenic mushrooms are readily and legally available.  Not to mention, the hydroponics kits for a little home growing[10]. 


[2] Including a fully stocked wallet which is a credit to the fine employees at the Minella.
[3] Definition of "Look See": Verb " taking an aimless walk around looking at stuff.
[4] Which might explain the lower birthrate in Northern Ireland.
[5] Which makes me wonder how beer goggle ugly I am.
[6] I get that a lot
[7] They speak Spanish in the Canaries
[8] Kind of an ironic statement, I know
[9] Which is absolutely a memory I didn’t want to be dragging along through my golden years.
[10] Confidential to R.W.  You harvest that first crop yet?


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16 km (10 miles) traveled
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