Prerecorded from Ireland – Day 3 – Dingle

14 Sep

Location: Dingle, County Kerry, Ireland
Population: 1,920
Random Fact: Dingle Bay has a lone resident dolphin.
Accommodation: Pax Guest House, Dingle

We’ll pick up here where we left off in Ireland – in the coastal fishing village of Dingle.

One bit of warning – those of you who know me well know I have an affinity for using the “f” word. I consider it a talent. However, I usually avoid using it on my blog for obvious reasons. On this trip to Ireland though I learned that the only people more adept at using the beautiful word are the Irish. And they all use it. B&B hosts, bar tenders, the women checking you out at the grocery store. It’s eff this and eff that and I’ve never felt so at ease : ) So to properly illustrate these stories, the “f” word will be used freely, though I’ve taken to spelling it the way the Irish say it, which is of course “feck.” If this offends your delicate sensibilities, please go find another blog cus we don’t want the feckin likes you of you round here anyway.

On to the stories…

We got fancied up and headed out for our first evening in Dingle town with just a fine bit of rain coming down. The guesthouse was within walking distance of town but we were feeling a wee bit exhausted so we decided to drive.

The streets of Dingle were as charming as I’d hoped and imagined they would be. Rows and rows of flat fronted, brightly painted buildings, their corners well worn by a consistent salty wind.

The pubs are lined up one after another, each more charming looking than the last. Thankfully, the streets had just the right amount of buzz to them and it was a heavily Irish buzz. We were worried we would find towns overrun with tourists but at the beginning of September things had slowed down to just a handful of International guests and the residents of the town. We were very happy to find that.

This is a strange comment to share but I kept saying how wonderful the Dingle area smelled. I’ve always heard people say they like the smell of the sea, then every time I’m near the sea I think, “Why don’t I smell anything?!” But in Dingle the air was fresh, salty and wonderful.

So anyway, we spent a bit of time driving in circles around the main streets of Dingle town. You see, the Irish are more than happy to draw you a map of anything. So we were armed with a hand drawn map illustrating all the roads of downtown Dingle, little ‘x’s marking various pubs and restaurants. The street names were drawn in. Should have been easy. But the Irish are allergic to street signs. It’s apparently a very, very serious allergy too because you’re lucky to see a street sign at all. Anywhere. This makes the street names on you map incredibly useless. We learned quickly to ask a local what street we were on. From there, we had to use our sharp wits to determine the rest of the streets : )

Eventually we found a parking spot and wandered a bit and decided on a restaurant for dinner. After a fine meal and a few glasses of wine, we wandered back out into the light mist and heavy breeze.

Half a block away, we spotted Murphy’s Ice Cream shop. I’d stumbled on Murphy’s blog a long time ago when I was first planning our trip and looking for random Irish blogs to follow. Many great things have been said about Murphy’s homemade ice cream. Many complaints have been made about the price of it. We practically ran for the entrance. Fancy overpriced ice cream? That’s my idea of a good time!

The flavors were perfect…caramel, dark chocolate, baileys, sea salt… Oh baby. We shared a mix of dark chocolate and sea salt and it was ah-maz-ing. (And not overpriced.) Then I said, “Let us go husband, with these scoops of ice cream, and wander the romantic streets of little Dingle town.”

And then we stepped outside and the wind blew and I’ve never been so fecking cold in my life!

We huddled inside a doorway to block the wind, put on gloves and scarfed down the ice cream. It was like eating an ice cream cone outside in Chicago in January.

We headed straight for the nearest pub after that which as luck would have it was Dick Mac’s.

Dick Mac’s is an iconic looking Irish pub, exactly what you would picture. Except that it is half boot shop, half pub. There are a number of these places in Dingle – half hardware store, half pub, etc. I wondered if they were just a hokie tourist invention and was anxious to find out. Turns out, it was pretty authentic and the crowd was more local that tourist and that would hold true in the other half this/half that pubs we visited.

As we pushed through the pretty stained glass doors we were met with a small, lively, warm (thank God) little pub (and boot shop). We grabbed two stools that had just opened at the bar, ordered pints and looked around.

Everything was just as you’d want it to be, lots of dark wood, lots of old stuff on old shelves. Snugs at either end of the bar. (We pause for a bit of Irish education – a snug is like a little closed in booth or room at the end of the bar, with high walls so you can’t see who is in the snug. At the end, there is a little window that can be opened for the bar tender to serve the occupants. They were originally designed for women to drink in the pubs in privacy. Now I think they’re just for people to get it on in a pub. Jusssst kidding.)

Shots below of the pub and boot shop sides of Dick Macs:

It wasn’t long before we struck up a conversation with a couple from South Carolina. As we talked about where we had been and where we were going, the bar tender wandered over and listened in as he pulled a few more pints.

Then his head snapped up at me and he said, “Wet da feck?! I’m sew feckin’ stewpid.”

I said, “Wet da feck is da matta?” (Don’t worry I didn’t really repeat his accent back to him, I’d only had the one pint so far.)

He said, “I taught yas were feckin’ Irish. Yas ain’t are ya?”

Of course we admitted we were not Irish but I tell you what, that made my day! Mistaken for Irish on our first night out on the town : ) What an honor. I then proceeded to drink like I was Irish. Which I am not. And it showed.

So we’re half way through pint number who-knows-what when we notice a kinda loud Spanish speakin dude behind us. The guy from South Carolina says, “Oh. That’s the Spaniard. He was in here earlier. He’s…um…he’s a special Spaniard.”

“Hmm…,” I think to myself. “He must be too polite to say that Spaniard is a drunk, which he clearly appears to be.”

So I lean over to Zac and say, “This guys says that Spaniard is a drunk so watch yourself.” cus this dude is starting to get real close to Zac.

Zac nods. “No problem, this aint my first drunken Spaniard, I got this,” the nod seems to say.

We sip our pints a bit and the next thing I know the Spaniard appears to be trying to put his hand in the back pocket of Zac’s jeans. Which is awkward because Zac is sitting on the back pocket of his jeans. Now this is the sort of pub behavior that would usually win someone a knuckle sandwich. But one doesn’t go around popping Spaniards in the jaw on his first night out in Ireland. So instead my husband attempts being mild mannered and just says, “Hey man what the feck are you doing??”

The Spaniards response is “Oh, eh, oh, eh, ahhhh, oohh.”

And we have ourselves a language barrier.

He points violently at Zac’s jacket and we gather he is trying to look for his own jacket. He manages to see the tag of Zac’s jacket and puts his hands up and shakes his head as if to say, “Oh, you’re right, that’s not my jacket your ass is sitting on.”

He then locates his own jacket much to everyone’s relief. But then he comes back over and is standing just between Zac and I and he’s trying to say something. But I have no idea what. My Spanish sucks. Zac’s sucks a little less.

There is much gesturing and much speaking in Spanish and I have no idea whats going on so I just keep sipping my pint and occasionally looking at Zac and his new Spanish friend and I throw out the occasional “Si! Si! Gracias!”

And each time I throw out my “Yes! Yes! Thank you!” phrase Zac looks at me a bit more shocked, like I’m a bit more stupid every time I say it. About the third time Zac says, “Maggie! Stop thanking this man and help me!”

I have no idea what he’s talking about. Back to my pint.

I look over again and Zac is pointing to his wedding ring yelling “Me espousa!! Me espousa!!”

This I understand.

He is asserting that I am his wife and I am not to be messed with.

So I look at that Spaniard and I say, “Si! Espousa!! Gracias!”

More Spanish, more gesturing. A lot of the gesturing is coming my way.

Again Zac says “Mi espousa!!” and the Spaniard manages in broken English to say “I wish not so.”

My mouth falls open and I lean into my husband and I say, “Zac, I think he’s propositioning me!!” Because there are certain gestures taking place and I may not know Spanish but believe you me I know the hand gesture for let’s get drunk and screw.

Zac leans in and says, “No, my dear. He is NOT. He is propositioning ME!!”

Well now that about does it and nearly pee my pants. The Spaniard now has his arm around Zac’s neck. Zac is pleading for help. “Don’t you remember any Spanish at all?!?!”

I say, “Si!! Gracias!!

And the Spaniard says “Si!! Si!!!” As he hugs my husbands neck.

What else can I do? I take a picture.

For the picture, the Spaniard decides to kiss my husband right on the ole beard. (Which by the way is getting thicker by the hour because despite saying it was compatible, Zac’s shaver blew up the first time he plugged it in. He would be destined to maintain his beard with a swiss army knife and my hot pink disposable razor for the rest of the trip.)

By this point, even Zac is laughing so hard he’s going to pee his pants. This little drunken Spaniard who looks like Robert Deniro and Robert Downey Jr.’s love child is clearly loving him some Zac.

So I look to our new found friends from South Carolina who are talking to a lovely, appropriate woman from Argentina and I say “Help!! The Special Spaniard is trying to kiss my husband.”

The new friend looks up from his pint and says “Oh Jesus Christ! I told you he was special!”

Ahh ha. Special. I gotchya. You meant he was gay, not a drunk. Although he certainly appears to be both at this point.

So new South Carolina friend quickly says, “Hey Zac let’s take these pints outside buddy!” And out the door they run, leaving the love struck Spaniard to shrug his shoulders at me.

“Oh bueno” he mumbled to me and stumbled off to the back of the pub. Lord only knows what became of him.

Regular drinking resumed after this until the lights were flashed and last call was hollered out. We ordered another round. They turned the lights back on. We drank on. They turned up the bar stools. We drank on. Then they told us to leave. Fine then. Something about it being a Sunday night…

We then located our rental car and proceeded to drive the wrong way up two one way streets. Ahh…what can be better than Irish roads? Irish roads in the black of night that’s what!

But we made it home safe and sound to our B&B where we collapsed into bed and tried not to have nightmares about little drunken Spaniards…

Here are some additional photos from our first day since we didn’t get to put many in the first post. I’ll catch up on shots from the second day tomorrow!

Scene outside the pub, just a few minutes walk from our B&B

Our first pints at Gus O’Conners pub before heading out to the Cliffs of Moher

At the Cliffs

Driving through the countryside on the way back to Doolin. I’m not used to the countryside including castles!

The wee little village of Doolin. Small place but it packed a nice punch: )


4 Responses to “Prerecorded from Ireland – Day 3 – Dingle”

  1. Kim September 14, 2011 at 10:58 pm #

    Thank you for such an enjoyable bed time storie. Love it. Will keep reading as you post more.

  2. klmphotos September 15, 2011 at 6:38 am #

    Bahaha… I can totally picture this entire scene! It makes me so happy to hear about these mis-adventures! Love it!

    P.S. We need a lunch meet-up so I can hear stories in person!

  3. shelsey September 15, 2011 at 1:32 pm #

    Glad you guys made it home cant wait to hear all about the trip! We missed you guys see ya soon!
    ps love the pictures

  4. ericaaaaa September 20, 2011 at 12:19 pm #

    OMG, please remind me to save my blog reading for when I’m NOT at work! Seriously, I snorted water out my nose and let out a guffaw instead of a snicker. I heart you:)

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