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"Not all who wander are lost." -- J.R.R. Tolkien
|200--Ireland: Dublin Your Pleasure|
Mar 25 2004 - 09:13 PST
"Who is this odd filly next to me? And I don't mean the horse!"
This 68-year-old Dubliner permitted me to take a photo of him on one condition: I had to answer his question correctly.
Why does the horse have such a long face?
Cherie, with her thick "Irish Shake."
A gang of international travelers at the "pub crawl."
Guinness--"The Storm before the calm."
The Guinness storehouse.
Notice the church right next door to the Guinness Brewery.
Cherie at the Guinness Brewery.
Brian would like to take this to go, please.
With the church and brewery so close, who needs to choose! You can have both!
Drink all you want--Guinness has its own medical department.
Brian has a liver-ache.
Trinity College has alumni like Bram Stroker.
This beautiful church was sold and converted into a store called: "Lighting World." I guess it must be the only "church" in the world that can guarantee that you'll see the light.
cherie writes: Some people know Trinity College as the location of one of the oldest books in the world—the “Book of Kells” a manuscript dating back to 800 AD. Others know Trinity College as Ireland’s first University, founded by Elizabeth 1 in 1592. If you’re a vampire, you might know it as the place Bram Stroker, the author of Dracula, went to school.
Brian and I know it as the meeting location for the Dublin Pub Crawl, where Brian and I ran into each other. I would have written “stumbled into each other”, but it was only after the pub crawl, that we were stumbling.
Being from the same hometown, Brian and I have known each other since 1986. Brain has been traveling for 8 years and works for Trek America as a tour leader part of the year, and then floats around the world the rest of the year. When he runs out of money, he goes back to leading tours across the US and Canada.
Brian’s curly hair is longer than mine. He looks like a well-fed prophet, one that likes to wear jeans everyday.
As we pondered where to eat, Brian looked at the menu of a place that advertised itself as having “Authentic Vietnamese Cuisine.” Then we checked out the prices and realized we might be able to fly to Vietnam for a snack and it would cost the same. “If this place were authentic,” Brian shouted to all the drunks within earshot, “dinner would cost 38 cents!”
Established in 988, Dublin is a city of color—red brick houses, green parks and rainbow colored vomit freckling the charming cobblestone streets. As Brain and I walked along the streets of Dublin, playing hop-scotch with the previous evening’s mounds of barf, Brian said: “So this is what Temple Bar looks like when I’m sober.”
All shapes and ages party in the pubs (pronounce poobs in Ireland). It’s common to see an 82-year-old Granny toasting a teenager in good cheer. It’s considered ordinary and acceptable for older people to go out and have a good time.
In the States, if you’re sitting at the end of a bar past a certain age, people see you as “old and pathetic.” In Dublin, no one takes a second look. Guys (with Scottish accents) are even comfortable wearing skirts (except they call them kilts.)
Brian and I went to the Guinness Brewery and I met a guy with a horse. It sounds like the start of a bad joke, but its not. I wanted to take a photo with the whiskered old feller, but he told me before he would take a picture with me…I had to correctly answer one of his questions.
“What do you think of Bush?” the 68-year old Dubliner asked. (Try to guess from the photo if I gave the “right answer.”)
After the horse-guy recounted his life story (none of which I understood since his accent was so thick and his nose hairs were so interesting) Brian and I wandered around the Guinness Brewery.
The 64 acres of beer-producing-land makes 4 million pints of Guinness a day—half of which is exported. Thanks to automation, it only takes 800 employees to make all that brew. But Guinness takes care of its workers “from womb to tomb.” Guinness even has its own hospital in Dublin. (For employees who consume too much of the “black gold?”)
If you count all the Guinness factories worldwide, Guinness produces 16 million pints of beer a day. And the biggest Guinness brewery isn’t in Ireland—it’s in Nigeria. In an odd way it seems fitting—“The Dark Continent” produces “the darkest beer.”
There’s a story still told in the Dublin streets about a Guinness employee who accidentally fell into a vat of beer. Tragically, he died. But the real question the Irish ponder is this: “Did he suffer?”
Dubliners will say: “Of course not! He got out 8 times to use the toilet!”
Click on each picture to see it full size.
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