Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Copenhagen - The Awakening of the Irish Gypsy Nomad

It was the summer of 1987 - Copenhagen was to be my first trip outside of Ireland (not counting camping with the parents in Enger-land).  With only a week left before departure, the original five adventurous college classmates eager to spend a summer overseas and earn some cash dwindled down to just two. The night before we were due to depart, the last brave comrade in arms phoned to tell me he 'lost his passport' and wouldn't be able to go.  I had already quit my prestigious part-time job stocking shelves in a supermarket, so I had little option but to go it alone.

I was a shy, innocent, clueless Irish Paddy heading off to the unknown.  My sisters boyfriends brother was supposedly aware of my imminent arrival so I least I had a contact on the ground...or so I thought.  On the plane to Denmark, I chatted with an Irish girl (Kathryn) next to me and told her of my plight.  "Who is supposed to meet you at the airport" she asked.  "John H.", I responded.  "I doubt it she said - sure isn't he away for a week at the Roskilde Rock Festival!"

I should probably write something eloquent like "on comprehending my imminent dilemma my heart sank...blah blah blah", but in reality I nearly shat my pants.  I was to arrive in a strange land with nowhere to go and no one to help...FECK!

On seeing my concern she said - "but there's a spare room above our flat where you can stay a few nights and I'll introduce you to the Irish Burger King crew".

It was only recently I thought about what a pivotal moment that was.  Without her contacts and hospitality, I might well have been back home in Dublin a week later with my tail between my legs and possibly never have been keen to leave the ol' sod again.  Instead, I got a job at Burger King <- [click me], and met a ton of wonderful people and gained an appetite for wandlust that continues to this day. Thanks Kathryn wherever you are..
Tags: ..Copenhagen, Denmark..
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Thursday, 17 March 2011

Kiss me Irish Arse....

........It's just like kissing the Blarney Stone and will bring you the luck o' the Irish. Just keep your hands off me 'Lucky Charms'

Happy St Patricks Day! ( Lá Fhéile Pádraig! )

Tags: ..Happy St Patricks Day!..
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Sunday, 6 March 2011

St Patricks Day Parade Hoboken (Debauchery rehearsal)

The parade is held a few weeks early every year in Hoboken - New Jersey, since the main event in New York City on March 17th overshadows everything else.  I got to take part in the parade this year which was a blast.  The bars open at 10am and charge $20 entry and the lines go around the block so we bailed out of the parade early and crashed a party complete with beer keg and games of beer pong.  There is a really heavy police presence with a zero tolerance policy towards drinking or peeing outside or in a non designated spot. $2,000 fine if caught.  Some enterprising local put up a sign (see pic below) offering toilet facilities for just u$d10!
 Gotta Pee? $10 please!

Tags: .St Patricks Day Parade Hoboken..
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