It may only be the middle of February, but the Irish inside me is already smelling the flowing pints of midMarch Guinness! Living for some time in Monaghan, Ireland (A small village where the republic meets the North), I will admit I still don’t taste a difference between American and Irish Guinness. They both taste the same to me! It’s my opinion that people are
afraid to say it out loud, but as God is my judge both kegs taste identical to me. However, I will admit there’s
something special about holding a cold pint with a few Euro on the bar and a sea of “real” Irish speaking the
language and behaving in ways you simply won’t see in the states. It’s so different here!
The first thing that I notice in the pubs of rural Ireland is the lack of cell phones. You won’t see it. People
here in Ireland tend to talk to each other Irish eye to Irish eye. It’s considered rude and unsocial to take out
your phone while in a pub and stare hypnotically at the glowing screen. In fact, you’ll probably be mocked
if you try to bring your American drinking habits over here. Most don’t have a lot of money here so Monday
through Friday the pubs will look eerily deserted. Saturday evening around 10pm the shamrocks hit the
fan so to speak. It doesn’t matter your age, everyone young (18) and old (me) drink up together. Pints,
whiskey and gin is pretty much what you’ll see. No soda guns here. You get the entire bottle of soda and
a glass featuring a 3 second pour. The mixing is up to you. Ireland is indeed different.
The woman dress like they are going to the Oscars and the men all wear collard shirts. Warning: Do not
wear a hat inside a pub! I can promise you the hat will be removed promptly with or without your permission.
It definitely took me a few months to drink up like the locals. I came to Ireland with many American social
habits that don’t go over to well here in Monaghan where I now live. I learned the hard way how to go
with the flow. Ireland has a lot of economic and social troubles for sure, but I have never seen a more loving
and accepting culture of people. If you ever have the opportunity to visit Ireland, I hope you’ll take the time
to visit places like Monaghan and other rural parts of this small country…. Just leave your cell phone in your
pocket and your hat off your head!