Sláinte! Welcome To The Wonderful
World Of Irish Pubs
March 2, 2015, County Kerry, Ireland: Pubs are an important and traditional part of Irish life.
Dear Live and Invest Overseas Reader,
"Oh, yes, they're regulars here. One of them is my great-uncle, and they've been coming here since they were lads, three times a day."
"Excuse me?" I couldn't help but reply.
"Three times a day, that's right. Once at noon, then again midafternoon, and once more around 9 o'clock. Two pints each, every time."
My husband and I were in a small traditional pub in West Kerry, talking with the landlady about two gentlemen we'd met there on a previous visit. Farmers by their clothing, in their 70s and chatting quietly together in Irish as they nursed their pints, they stood for everything we'd hoped to find in southwest Ireland: community, tradition, real people living down-to-earth lives... and if tradition included six pints of Irish stout every day for over 50 years, well, so be it.
Welcome to the world of Irish pubs!
I have to say that we're new at this. I can't begin to count the number of pubs in County Kerry alone, so there's a lot of research ahead before we qualify as experts. However, we've noticed points common to all the pubs we've visited so far that are giving us some hints about Irish culture.
First and most refreshing, you don't have to drink alcohol in an Irish pub if you don't want to. I would never dream of going into an American bar for anything other than an alcoholic beverage—maybe a soft drink as the designated driver but not for a cup of coffee or tea. Here, you can order a coffee made with real Italian espresso or a strong pot of tea, and no one gives it a second thought. If you're a teetotaler and don't like sugary sodas, you're just as welcome to stay and sip your coffee while enjoying the craic (lively conversation) and the traditional music.