Having lived in Chicago for a long time, I came to think about Irish people's culture when we travel abroad. I came to think about the best way to learn about a city and how to stop from feeling homesick! Here is why you should find an Irish pub in Chicago!
1 - There is a certain element of uneasiness that comes with travelling, as great and all as it is, there is an unknown and unfamiliar feel you tend to get in a new place, granted this may only last a few hours, the best way to settle yourself is to hear an Irish accent. It makes you realize that other Irish men and women have inhabited this territory and they survived, not to be outdone by your neighbor, you will settle straight away.
2 - You get to use the line…..”You’re from Cavan? ….. Do ya know Seamie Hegarty from Virginia, do ya?” and then laugh at how small the world is and how great Ireland is!
3 - Having eaten Irish breakfasts solid for the last nine months of your life, it isn’t safe to go cold turkey, so get off the plane and ease your stomach into not having a fry-up every morning by eating a small one for two to three days (this is not certified doctor’s advice and if you are thinking about coming down off the rashers, consult a physician)
4 - For the most part, real Irish bars have real Irish owners and Irish bar owners tend to know a thing or two about who people like to talk to. Regardless of the country you are in, the staff at Irish bars are generally sound and love to hear an oul’ brogue (for the most part). The only thing I would say on this, be careful what story you are telling them and claiming as your own, chances are they have heard it before!
5 – We are a strange creature at the best of times, us Irish, so although it is impossible to explain an Irishman on paper, an Irish person will know by the look of you exactly what it is you are in the market for, whether it be for hookers, museums or soul searching, your local Paddy will point you in the right direction.
6 – We know the importance of good beer and although a lot of bars in Ireland don’t tend to have a vast array of beers on tap, most Irish bars in foreign countries do.
7 – As much as we all love being Irish and proclaiming our Irishness, most of us don’t really know as much as we think we do, most Irish emmigrants are forced to learn, so you may actually learn something about Ireland while you’re at it.
8 - If you do happen to get chatting to the owner, they will be making sure to show of their inherited hometown so any advice is bound to be good advice. Also, chances are they may be a little homesick themselves, so you’d be brightening up their day too!
9 – We know the importance of sport, so despite the fact that your bartender doesn’t know the winner of the 3.20 at Uttoxeter, somebody in the bar will or will have a way of finding out. Note : They will also probably tell you that they had a ton on the winner of the same race.
10 – Last but not least, you get to do what Irish people love to do and that is complain, so you get to talk to the barman and cite the recession as his reason for leaving and curse it! Curse the recession for making young lads leave home. Fit, healthy, good looking young lads having to leave their own home soil and then get sentimental and cry into your pint (If that is what you’re into), and then proceed to sing the first verse of “Song for Ireland” for the remainder of the night.
If this has just made you think about going to the pub, then at least, take solace in this!
Just a note, I am not encouraging going into the same Irish bar 12 nights on a 2 week holiday, but definately go and see the bar in the first few days to get a decent feel for the city. I also forgot, TEA. Irish bars serve tea..That is all.
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