Tuesday, May 18, 2010

St Patrick's Day

Only one thing in the world can beat St Patricks day, and that is St Patricks day in Ireland. It is possibly the best day of the year for everyone in Ireland. People make countdowns on their calendars, shut down their shops, and run for the pubs. Lines go out the door in almost every pub in the entire country, and unlike USA they dont have bouncers at the doors admitting one person in for every one person that leaves. If you can muscle your way into the door and up to the bar you get the best treat there is... the mother's milk.

This day of course was eagerly awaited for all of the people studying abroad in Ireland. And I have to admit the day did not let us down. Of course we added a bit of our own antics to the culture that the "american st patricks day" has taught us for the past 20 years of our lives. Some really worked out beautifully and others, well not so much. One thing I learned that day is that American St Patricks day is not the same as Irish St Patricks day.

USA- kegs and eggs is required, irish car bombs is the most important special drink you can have that day, day drinking through all hours is a neccessity and if your still standing at the end of the day you have won, and if you can make it out that night you are a legend.

Ireland- sleep through the morning and wake up before 12 so that you can make it through the night, full irish breakfast is a huge plus because you know your going to be drinking all day, start slowly and then progress up until your throwing back guinnesses like your being paid for it, and once all the americans are passed out, keep going and never look back.

Lets just say that we tried to combine both cultures into one mega day and by the end of it none of us made it out past 8 pm. It was by far the best day i had in Ireland. And thankfully because of cameras I wont forget because without them I dont know how much I would remember.

The Raddest of RAG week

RAG WEEK- aka Christmas, Thanksgiving, New Year's, St. Patrick's Day, 4th of July, and Cinco de Mayo all rolled up into one week straight of insanity. Rag week is the irish kids excuse to not go to classes and drink for 5 days straight. Basically just be complete degenerates. So naturally the Americans decide to embrace to culture and join our fellow students in this glorious week of festivites.

Rag week is supposed to be college week on campus. The students are supposed to do things around the campus like vote for their school president and vice president and do volunteer work. Teachers dont expect students to come in because they should be doing all these things but instead the irish kids just plan parties around the town and get "piss drunk." Being Irish has a whole new meaning after this week.

Bar parties, house parties, pub crawls, and day drinking to name a few things are the only memories I have of that week. But the highlight was most definitely the beer olympics that the college put on. 12 teams, 11 irish teams, 1 international team (aka americans). This is supposed to be the pinnacle of the entire week. It goes on during the last day of the week and everybody goes. The stage couldnt be any bigger, and my team was completely under prepared for it.

Teams go all out with costumes and themes. Toga, lumberjack, disco, anything goes. My team, jim, connor, bobby, me, and bertie (an irish tank who could drink like a camel) walked in 30 minutes before it started hoping to get in the tournament, and luckly we were the last team selected. The games were full cup boat race, full cup flip cup, full cup funnel, and full cup das boot. After a round robin we advanced on to the medal rounds. After a "your mama joke battle" we found ourselves in the finals playing the heavy favorite, and of course all the irish kids there hated us because we kept winning.

I wont go through all the details, because i dont remember them vividly enough to do it justice, but the next morning i woke up to a gold medal around my neck and the trophy above my tv, a construction site orange cone with all our names on it. RAG week taught me something that night, and its that Americans know how to play drinking games very well, but irish kids can drink like fish.