11 Days and Counting…

…since I’ve been to Starbucks! That’s a record.

Seriously, I usually don’t go two days without getting into my car, heading out of the driveway and going down Main Street where my Starbucks awaits. Some of the barristas even know my order: grande, decaf mocha; no whip except on special occasions, weekends and particularly bad days. So yeah, about half the time.

Anyway, as I’ve reported, the coffee over here is really, really good: today I had a mocha from Insomnia, a local chain, and the Polish barrista told me that this was much better than Starbucks. Everyone always says that, though, so I knew I had to taste it for myself. Yeah, even better πŸ™‚

And speaking of Poland, here is a group of new friends I met last night in Sheehan’s Pub in Dublin:

CIMG1327

That is the beautiful Daniella from Venezuela surrounded by Krishna from India, Rich from England, Nathan from Australia, Marek from Czech and Kevin from France! I was the only American in the place but believe me, it’s no great shakes. They do ask me what state I’m from and they all know all the states which is amazing as we Americans, for the most part, know nothing. Admit it, geography is not our best subject; whenever I play Trivial Pursuit, I worry about that blue piece of pie! For every question, I answer “Paris” and eventually, I am right.

Walking down Grafton Street–the main street in the city centre shopping area–last night, I was surprised at how early the shops close; by 6 pm, most are done for the day. Well, of course, if your “Late, Late Show” is on at 9:30 pm, it makes sense! Here’s the Pub:

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And a building wrapped for Christmas a la Tiffany’s in NYC:

CIMG1322 And Mark, the bartender from last night:

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When you go into a pub here, you tell the bartender what you want and he’ll order it and pop out from behind the bar to deliver it. There are some waitresses, but everyone in any restaurant/bar/cafe works together to serve the customer. And here’s the surprising thing: tips are not required. Sure, they like them, but most Irish don’t tip too often and only for very good service (remember, America, when that was our practice?). And, the tip is usually around ten percent. So when I gave Mark four euro on a twenty euro check–or bill, as they call it here–he was most appreciative. For the rest of the night, he called me Patricia and every time he looked at me, he winked!

Mark is as close to Colin Farrell as I’ve come so far!

And speaking of pubs, here’s the drink I’ve become very fond of:

CIMG1318 - Copy This is the pear cider, there’s also an apple one. Goes down like soda and as yet, I have not felt any kind of tipsy from it.

Perhaps I should start drinking more πŸ˜‰

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