Happy St. Paddy’s!

Be careful, it’s not Patty’s, that’s a girl’s name, as the Irish kids reminded us.

Back home, I always heard people say that St. Patrick’s Day wasn’t a big thing in Ireland, that it was blown out of proportion by America. Well that’s not true at all, but it’s definitely different. Here in Ireland, it’s a family holiday. The Irish girls said they would normally go to Church with their family and then the town parade. They said this was the first St. Paddy’s that they intended to drink. This made sense when we went to the parade and it was all families.

It was a completely sober gathering. It was surprisingly un-Irish. Most of the floats were city groups (i.e. the Galway Russian Society or the South Africans of Galway, etc.) and the parade was themed (“Jumping Over the Moon”) so there was very little Irishness. It was really crowded, so we had to stand on a bench on the inside of a bus stop to see.

And after, when we went down to the Spanish Arch, where all the young people gather, the guards were out in full force to crack down on public drinking. Our unopened bottles of Coke were enough to get stopped by the guards. It was crazy! We had to convince them that it was really just Coke (it really was just Coke).

Later that night we went out to the pubs and they were packed. I guess they put the kids to bed and went on out, because some of the pubs were so crowded it was uncomfortable. We ended up at a pub quite far from the center of town, because it was the only place with breathing room. (Roisin Dubh is the name of the pub. For the longest time, I thought the Irish girls were saying “Russian Dove,” which certainly didn’t make sense. It took a few weeks for me to learn that Roisin Dubh actually means “black rose” in Irish.)

All in all, a successful St. Paddy’s Day!

Sincerely Annie

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