We (meaning I) needed a drink after this and we followed up on a tip by an Irish friend I met in Chili last year. After a pint at The Stags Head we headed for dinner at Boxty, where they serve great traditional Irish food. I fell in love with the Boxty fries: slices of potato PANCAKE. DEEPFRIED. Add some garlic mayonnaise and I'm committed to return to the Boxty before my flight home. After trying to finish a huge bowl of beef stew (brother succeeded, I did not) and some pints, we waddled to The Merchants Arch. Brother had been there twice already and I could immediately see why; it's a gorgeous pub, bartenders who knew how to serve Guinness and every night, all night long the most amazing live music. I've been clapping, singing and 'woohoo'-ing the best I could, and before we knew it we'd been sitting at the bar for 4 hours. I learned two things that night:
1. I like Guinness way more than I thought and as a result now my head hurts.
2. While singing along 'Galway Girl', they didn't sing 'and her eyes were black and her hair was blue'. That was just me.
Brother and I said our goodbyes and I returned to my hostel, where my plan of getting some sleep turned into a very typical hostel-y (not to confuse with hostile) series of weird events featuring even weirder people:
1. The 1st thing I heard when I entered the building was Portuguese. After barely getting over the infamous Brazilian Bitch & Boat incident last year it luckily took me only a minute to figure out that these receptionists were very nice people.
2. One of the girls in the 8 bed dorm I was sleeping in had a weird nervous breakdown in the middle of the very dark room at 3AM, and it started when I made the mistake of telling her 'goodnight!' She looked up and said in a high pitched Spanish -Tweety-bird kind of way, 'are you talking to me?' Yes, and she replied 'I don't think I'll have a good night at all!' I then made the situation infinitely worse by asking her 'are you okay?'. She walked over to my lower bunked, started shining her cellphone light in my face and hissed 'I'M NOT SURE I EVEN WANT TO BE HERE.' A Brazilian girl entered the room and asked the same and Tweety shouted 'NO', shrieked something about 'going out, home, wrong place' and finally, very dramatically, left the room. I asked the Brazilian girl if SHE was okay, but she wasn't sure- and neither was I.
3. I spend two hours laying awake waiting for Tweety to dramatically return. And when she did, she decided to charge her phone next to my pillow- she just stood there, waiting, inches from my head.
4. I fell asleep but woke up covered in sweat an hour later: SOMEONE turned on the heater in the middle of the room, which made the dorm a nasty smelling sauna. At 6:00 I gave up and moved to the hallway with a book.
5. At 06:30 a young African man walked past the reception area where I was sitting and started a conversation with me about God. Yes, god. The Brazilian receptionist who worked the night shift was laughing his ass of while I tried to escape the preaching. Short recap: I will go to hell. And to be honest, I wasn't too bothered by that due to my lack of sleep.
Next stop, Belfast!