I've had a particularly festive time, these last 7 days. Celebrating SXSW and St. Patrick's Day alone would've been a rockin' out few days, but I added goodwill ambassadorship to the mix.
My friend who does not dip her feet into the waters of the internet was my partner in crime one evening last week. Let's call her Roxie. She was feeling restless, texting me from home and asking where I was and what I was doing. I was, of course, ordering up a Lone Star draft and a Fabulous Jack (that's black label) shot on the side.
Roxie decided to join me downtown and see what trouble, err, adventure we could find. Little did I know that we'd spend the night fostering good will between nations, forming alliances and toasting pints of beer toward newfound friends. Yes, it was an Italy, Ireland and USA evening.
We ended up barhopping with two Irish lads, one of whom was giddily jetlagged from his flight over that morning, and one Italian man. I can honestly say that I haven't had that much fun in one night in a long time. Nor have I said "I'm sorry, I didn't understand" more often.
Luckily, Alessandro was fluent in Spanish so when I didn't understand his heavily accented English, he'd switch languages. Donal and his brother (sorry, forgotten his name) had lovely Irish brogues. Their accents made it sound so much better when they pronounced my favorite Texas beer "shyte". The pic at the top of the page is the group is trying to determine if Lone Star is, in fact, real beer. I did retain a sense of humor although they were panning my brew.
The night was young, the beer was flowing freely and the meeting of 3 nations was in full swing. Because the music festival was ongoing, we were blasted by live music everywhere. Some good, some not so good. So we entertained ourselves with the Warehouse District version of prom photos. Due to concerns over job security, those images have been removed from this blog.
The week has flown by in a whirlwind of coffeehouse visits, pub meetups and crazy mad trivia at Mother Egan's. I've had a few language lessons which will be ever so helpful if I have a need to say "Tomorrow is another day" or "fuck you!" in Italian. For the record, it's "Il domani è un altro giorno" and "vaffanculo!". We also had an indepth conversation about the use of contractions in American English. I was asked why we didn't use mere seconds to turn the words into proper English. I shrugged, "we're lazy". And smiled.
As we edge closer to the end of the Irish & Italian visit, I know one thing. I love Texas and I adore the U.S., but I really, really need to get a stamp or to or six in my passport. I need to experience more of the world and its many unique cultures. Enjoying the company of foreign visitors made me realize how small I've drawn my borders. The next time I'm sharing a pint with laughing Irishmen, I'd prefer it to be in their mother country. And now each time I taste a good montepulciano d'abruzzo, I'll think of Italy and how much better it would be to savor the deep red richness while sitting in a ristorante in Rome.