Es always ends the same. I want to roam the city from one end to the other, but I never get very far. And I’m in good company. James Joyce once said: “An almost impossible task: crossing Dublin without passing a pub.”
Behind window panes I see people gesticulating in lively exchange, glasses with dark liquid in their hands. Body shadows flit back and forth. There seems to be a lot of craig, lots of fun at the Doheny & Nesbitt pub.
As if magically attracted, I open the door. Of course, it could also be that a downpour forced me. The social institution that I enter, simply with Bar translating would be too short-sighted. she is that living room for everyone, the bedrock of Irish culture and a national institution, party zone, debating club, concert stage, dance hall. Rank and name have no meaning here.
The young punk leans against the counter next to the older banker. You talk. In no Dublin pub have I stood at the counter for more than ten minutes before someone starts a conversation. Incidentally, the bar – like the pub in general – is said to have originated from the “Irish wake”, the three-day wake with music, dancing and drinks. You put your glass on the coffin, so the step to the counter was not far …
Language lessons and Irish humor are included for free
“I’ve an awful throat on me!” Says the guy next to me. He doesn’t mean that he has a sore throat, but that’s how he orders his drink. Incidentally, the latter is always alcoholic in Ireland. “Somebody has opened the lunchbox!” His buddy smirks. Aha, someone let you go. Language lessons and Irish humor are included for free.
It’s getting fuller, louder and narrower. Today is Saturday, that’s when the “Saturday evening gargle” takes place. Sounds like gurgling, but means one drinking session. Two sips and the pint (0.5683 liters) is gone.
It’s good to know pub etiquette: if you’re invited, and that happens quite often, you pay a round for being next. You order them just before the first person in the group has finished their glass. For me, this often leaves me with a row of half-empty glasses. But nothing helps. Because you can’t order half a pint!
Grub is available in almost every pub, food. Just ordered one Together, sandwiches. Two start a song. Two others unpack their musical instruments, a banjo and a guitar, and start playing.
Spontaneous sessions are the norm here, though Session simply means having a good time, but it can also mean a music session, like right now. “Whiskey in the jar” roar, uh, we all sing together. If that turns into a real party with singing and dancing, it’s a Hooley. Some begin to move to the rhythm. Getting through is no longer possible.
At the back of the pub is the lounge, where mainly women or families used to sit at round tables. Now it’s mostly men crowding together and staring at the various flat screens. Hurling is a team sport that uses batons and balls.
In the meantime I’ve ended up in the “Merchant’s Arch”, after that it’s on to the “Stag’s Head”. I have many favorite pubs. Too many. Because in Dublin there are over 3000 collective living rooms.
Recommended pubs in Dublin:
“Doheny & Nesbitt” on Baggot Street, one of Dublin’s most famous streets (dohenyandnesbitts.ie); Merchant’s Arch, pub in historic 1821 house in Temple Bar (merchantsarch.ie); Stag’s Head, traditional city center pub (stagshead.ie). Pub visits are particularly nice in the evening, but also possible during the day. A pint of beer costs around six euros.
The article is an excerpt from the recently published book “Dublin – Abenteuer” by Judith Weibrecht, Michael Müller Verlag/mm-wandern.de. The book details 33 experiences in and around Dublin that are exceptional and off the beaten tourist track. The author is a travel book author (judith-weibrecht.de).