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 Africa86 votes
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WheresCherie.COM Quote
"I don't think of all the misery, but of all the beauty that still remains." -- Anne Frank

203--Ireland: The Bachelor's Inn
@ CherieSpotting     Mar 28 2004 - 10:08 PST
cherie writes: Brian and I have sampled a dozen of the 700 pubs in Dublin and have found our favorite to be a joint called “The Bachelor’s Inn.” Brian and I were the only tourists in pub, and the locals looked like something out of a movie.

Pat, the bartender, had a comical comb-over and a wonderful disposition. Brain and I were thousands of miles away from our homeland and Pat made us feel like at home.

Old Irishmen were lined up at the bar, retelling the stories of their youth with vigorous animation (as if it happened this morning.) One fat lady sat hunkered over in the corner smoking. There was a drunk, a distinguished gentlemen, a talker, an awkward teen with acne, and the guy at the end of the bar who just nodded at everything we said and two tourists from California (Brian and I.)


Brian looked around at the lack of women in the pub and said: “I’d be surprised if there was even a women’s bathroom here.”

“What about a bathroom for her?” I asked pointing to the husky female chain-smoker.

“She probably uses the men’s room,” Brian said.

There is something different about the pubs in Ireland. And it’s not just the creamy smooth Guinness. A pub is not just a meeting place for drunks—it’s a place for socializing. If you walk in and do something selfish (like buying a brew only for yourself) you just might get a fist in your face.

When you can understand what they are saying, Irish men are a hoot. They laugh with their stomachs and fight with their hearts. They are a passionate people, no strangers to misery and strife. But there is a certain palpable camaraderie in the Irish people—something touching in their raw honesty.

Brain and I talked politics all night with the locals, and luckily we solved most of the world’s problems before the lights flickered. Before pub’s close in Dublin, the lights flash on and off to signal the customers. It means: Order 4 more drinks, because the pub is closing now.

Dublin has something called “drink up time” which means you are allowed to finish your drinks—even after the bar is closed. It is not uncommon to see a row of beers or a chain of whisky in front of each drunk as the night comes to an end.

I have a new way of ordering my whisky with ice. I order my Irish Whisky, and get my bartender’s nod of approval. Then I sneak off to the bathroom. Brain whispers to the barman in confidence, “She likes a few cubes of ice in there. You know how women are!”

The bartender smiles and says: “Me wife is the same way.” Then the men have their secret and I have me ice.

It was at the Bachelor’s Inn pub the first time I learned the story of Molly Malone. Molly Malone, a robust woman from the 1700s, is remembered in countless Irish ballads and her busty figure is recounted in numerous Irish songs. Over 300 years later, the men are still raving about her.

Molly sold fish during the day, and supplemented her income at night with a more lucrative career. A statue commemorates Molly’s place in Dublin’s history. Depending on the story-teller, Molly is remembered as either: “the tart with the cart,” “the dolly with the trolley,” or “the dish with the fish.” Judging from the details in their stories, some of the men at the Bachelor’s Inn must remember Molly personally!

Click on each picture to see it full size.

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Brian with Pat, the bartender at The Bachelor's Inn.

Brian with Pat, the bartender at The Bachelor's Inn.

Pat, the Irishman with the best "comb-over" in Dublin.

Pat, the Irishman with the best "comb-over" in Dublin.

Pat gave Brian a free glass.

Pat gave Brian a free glass.

Cherie and Brian head next door to the Arlington to see free Irish dancing.

Cherie and Brian head next door to the Arlington to see free Irish dancing.

Brian and I were mesmerized by the dancing.  (Or was it the whisky?)

Brian and I were mesmerized by the dancing. (Or was it the whisky?)

Those feet were moving at the speed of light.

Those feet were moving at the speed of light.

The origins of Irish karate.

The origins of Irish karate.

Note that "Individualism poses a threat to marriage."  It's not the folks drinking in pubs into the wee hours of the night.

Note that "Individualism poses a threat to marriage." It's not the folks drinking in pubs into the wee hours of the night.

A quick squirt of perfume is available in the bathroom.

A quick squirt of perfume is available in the bathroom.

The Bachelor's Inn is just a few steps away from my hostel at Litton Lane.

The Bachelor's Inn is just a few steps away from my hostel at Litton Lane.

Brian checks out Molly Malone.

Brian checks out Molly Malone.

Molly Malone will live forever in history as the "tart with the cart."

Molly Malone will live forever in history as the "tart with the cart."

A church that spans the whole block!

A church that spans the whole block!