Thursday, August 3, 2017

The Craic: Crackin' in Galway, Ireland

Galway is lovely with lively historical downtown and tranquil harbor,

Say cheese, please! Sheridan's Cheesemongers has wheels of goat, sheep and cow cheese. 

A morning coffee and I meet Paul, “Do you play?” 

Paul tells me he builds Galway Hookers, sleek and beautiful, then gives me that Irish smile. 
"Oh, it’s a type of boat.”

He’s a very good chess player but leaves a piece exposed. I capture it and win the game. My status at the cafĂ© climbs dramatically, the guy who beat Paul. He whoops me in the second game, we call the match a draw and move on to discuss poetry and boats.

Ronnie arrives, big easy-going Dutch man, a good friend during a pub-crawl. Today is his one day off so it’s time for a wee pint of the good stuff. We all make the transition from coffee to Guinness after a short wander.
“Havin’ crack?” he asks and my mind spins a bit. 
“Local expression, are ya having a good time?”
“I’m crackin!” I reply.
“No, your just 'crack’.”
Okay, get the idiom right, “I am crack!”

Turns out it’s not “crack” but “craic” which is an old Gaelic word meaning “to have fun.”

In Galway, it’s all about havin' craic.

Lots of musicians on the street and in the park playing for coins. “It’s a musical country,” a Canadian traveler told me.

This guy is the Mr. Bojangles of Galway. All the musicians know him, famous once, now he “drinks a bit” and when sober enough, plays with powerful soul.

Buskers come in all shapes, sizes and sexes, 

And after downing a few pints of Guinness the busking dancer seems to float like a trinity over the pavement,

Evening comes just before midnight, time for a chat, Irish to Spanish,

Off the coast are the Aran Islands. Gaelic heritage taught here. Ancient ruins and traditional stone fences.

“It’s so quiet.” I say to Sean, the owner of the B&B where I’m staying.
“Yes, but it’s a heavy quiet." 

Those Irish just have a way with words. Nothing else need be said.

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Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Paris Souvenir Shopping

Come visit a traditional Paris souvenir shop with our host, comedian Jessica Marlae.

(Yes, she does marry the cameraman in the end and now they have a one-year old son!)

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