Old Friends (Ireland)

Galway ~ Ireland – 2013

I remember my automatic reaction when a (now ex)  lady-friend of mine suggested a spur of the moment mini-break to Ireland…we hadn’t even known each other for that long…I mean, we weren’t even an official thing (whatever that is!)  She could have been a mad-axe murderer, she could have hatched a plan to get me out of the country, and harvest my organs or something…or, she could just be a nice normal person, with a nice normal plan to have a romantic getaway together…you can just never be sure in these circumstances…

But I said yes all the same, I mean…why not?

The clear choice apparently, was Dublin, for the sole reason that it is the capital – I knew in my heart of hearts this was a lazy choice…and I was relaying this to an Irish friend of mine, who immediatley grabbed me and muttered, “no…no man…NO. Not Dublin. Galway – I’m tellin’ ya…fucken…Galway.” There was such sincerity in his voice, such clear and unequivocal passion, that there was no way I would defy his opinion! He went on to explain that Dublin had became oversaturated, and overpriced. Playing up on the usual lepracaun Guiness drinker, who does nothing but have sex with four leaf clovers all day, “ting.” He found it obnoxious, and not a true reflection of Irish culture – just a pumped up stereotype to pull in fucking American tourists.

I nodded, as if I knew what he was talking about.

Nodding Bale GIF

So Galway it was, I did some research…I knew it sounded a little familiar, turns out a few of my favourite comedians are from there…so at the very least I was expecting some fun, and some humorous thrills and spills! Good thing is, it’s just a short flight from Newcastle, I think like half an hour, maybe a bit more? So before we had even finished our peanuts, we found ourselves there…we were immediately lost, which didn’t help at all, and spent what seemed like forever, walking up and down streets dragging bags filled with clothes we would never get around to wearing…thank God for the friendly folk there. Someone, a random stranger who honestly looked a little bit scary – stopped us and asked what we were doing, maybe my blotchy red face served as a beacon that displayed I needed aid. We told him, and he called up the hotel – got the address, then called a taxi and had it pick us up, then drop us at the door. This friendliness was no one time, stroke of luck! People are actually NICE there…I know, it’s a crazy notion!

The following night we found ourselves somewhere on the main high street, after an amazing dinner, and quite a few fine ales…we were deliberating which way to go, you know,  where to head to next – when I felt a sudden arm around my neck. “Where are we off to, then?” It was a small group of people a couple of years older than us, we were taken aback…and went into the usual stranger, danger mode, obviously we immediately tried to escape…but they were having none of it; “Come on maaan, come onnnn! Ya’ with us tonight!” and with that we were shepherded into a nearby nightclub. We had skipped the whole awkward first stage, and been invited into the “best friends for fucking ever” section of friendship. I found myself thinking that this is how it should be…all that wasted time, your a person, I’m a person – let’s just go someplace, and have a good time.

I seemed to click with one guy in particular, I think his name was Adam…anyway, we had some rather enlightening conversations once we got in there  – after a few round of drinks of course…

Rum Gone GIF

“Galway…is fucken amaaaazing! Don’t even tell me it’s not! YOU CAN’T SAY THAT!”

“No, no – it’s lovely, I was jus-“

“Wanna’ know why? Eh? The PEOPLE.”

“I was planning on going to Dublin, then my friend sai-“

“NOOO! DON’T! Galway…Galway…GALWAAAAY! I’ve lived here all my life, and you know – I have never once paid for a taxi – NOT ONCE. I just walk, someone picks me up…brings me a mile, I get out – within seconds someone else is along…they take me so far…then, I’m HERE!”

I laughed, and so did he – but he was obviously telling the truth. There was something great, about that community feel, that help people out just because it’s fucking nice mantra, that made parallels to other places, including my own hometown, pretty bleak.

“I’ve never actually paid into this club till now…usually just hop over the back-way, you know? But you went and paid for you and your lady, and I was like FUCK it, didn’t fancy the upheavel! There’s like glass, and nails – ya’know? But you gotta’ live dangerously, or ya’ not livin!”

Gandalf Chuckle GIF

The next day my girlfriend and I,  were walking the streets again, sampling more food, and even more of the ales. As we came out of a tourist store, we heard excited screams from across the street…the group, our new sudden best friends we had parted with a few hours ago, ran toward us. We began to recount the craziness of that night, without even a sniff of nervous awkwardness – we laughed about the stupid stuff that had went on, and after we had giggled till we were breathless – they asked if we fancied lunch, or maybe even dinner later on…

You know…there’s hospitable, and then there’s that. I haven’t even got a slightly negative thing to make a joke out of! Lovely place, lovely people. It’s simple as that…Galway man, GAAAAALWAAAAY!

Like this story? Then like my page pretty please! facebook.com/storytimewithjohn

51 Replies to “Old Friends (Ireland)”

      1. I like to think of everyone as a friend until they prove otherwise, not the opposite as many feel you have to prove to be a friend. Life is too short! I envy your travels and escapades! Keep enjoying!!!!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Well that’s a great way to think, and I suppose that is the realisation I had there too – that’s how it felt, it wasn’t just being friendly, it was literally being friends!

        I hope to! Thank you so much! 🙂


  1. Loved this post! Reminded me of what happened to me in France. Yes, France of all places…While there with my mum we met up with a group of Scots. And we immediately went into the ‘friends forever’ club. They hosted a banquet in our honor (i know the organ-harvesting thought crossed my mind on more than one occasion) and we partied like rock starts until the wee hours. I still, 20 years later, get a holiday card from a couple of them..
    And my next trip will definitely be GAAALLWAAAY!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes you must watch out for “us” I mean those girls we like to harvest human organs…we get good money lol…I actually had to stop a friend from meeting up with a woman that he never seen at the airport over 100 miles a way. ..With no cell phone no way to call for help …I told him he’ll they could slip you something in the drink of your choice and bingo.. you wake up with no right kidney my friend…lol true story. ..lol…anyways love this blog you have my friend keep me laughing. ..suzette. ..:)


  3. I always say that Ireland is the friendliest place I’ve ever been, no matter where you are someone just strikes up a conversation and you’re friends for life! Doesn’t seem to happen much these days so it’s pretty awesome. Good story


  4. I’ve never been to Galway, might do the Wild Atlantic Way road trip some day. Starting from Malin Head and ending in Mizen head or viceversa. Now that would really be a real Wild West Irish adventure. Good luck on your adventures John, I’m sure they’ll get wilder when going off the beaten track!


  5. Thank you for liking “Phantoms.” What a fun post! 🙂 This travel tale seemed to have an ominous beginning when you and your ex-lady friend got lost in a strange place, but I am glad it ended well. I have to say I experienced a culture clash when I read this story. It sounds great that the people of Galway are so friendly and helpful, but that is not the way people are here where I live in California. Most people around here are suspicious of strangers and try to avoid them. Sadly, we do not have a close sense of community like the people of Galway do.


  6. So funny ! I live in Ireland so I totally get the whole “stay away from Dublin , visit Galway thing” If you ever come back to Ireland, go to Kerry…. Dingle in particular. It will take your breath away ! 🙂


  7. Reblogged this on Nuckin' Futz and commented:
    I’ve been following this blogger for a while. He’s extremely sharp and extremely funny. Makes you think and laugh at the same time. Anyway, this is one of my favorites. Go check out his blog. You’re welcome.


  8. I’ve always been a big fan of Ireland. Being Belgian born (so not TOO far away) I’ve never had the chance to see it. But after reading this post I decided I HAVE to save up some cash for a trip to GAAAALWAAAAY!!! =D


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