Friday, March 18, 2011

An Irish Pub called Irish Pub

You try explaining what this is.
Although I have faced many challenges in Colombia, few have been as stifling as trying to explain what a Leprechaun is to a group of Spanish-speaking fourth graders.

As a visual aid for my explanation, I had drawn a crude picture of what I hoped resembled the mythical Irish creature.

I tried to explain in English, speaking slowly, “A Lep-re-chaun is a… mag-ic-al lit-tle man. He likes to hide gold at the end of rain-bows.”

My students looked at me like I was speaking dolphin.

I paused to regroup my thoughts. Back home, I had never really thought about what a Leprechaun actually was—all I knew was children seemed to always be after their Lucky Charms.

I gestured to a pitiful picture of a rainbow and pot o’ gold I had scribbled on the board.

“The mag-ic-al man, the Lep-re-chaun, hides his gold at the end of rain-bows.”

“Oro!” one of my students yelled.

“Yes!” I practically cried, “Oro is gold. Very good.”

Little victories.

The Irish pub called Irish Pub.
After work I headed north to meet some of my gringo friends to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day at an Irish Pub called Irish Pub.

I know—creative.

Let’s just say originality in naming restaurants isn’t one of Colombia’s fortes. I kid you not—there is a buffalo wing restaurant called Buffalo Wings in Bogotá.

At any rate, since no one seemed to know what St. Patrick’s Day was, I expected the pub to be more or less empty. Much to my dismay, when I arrived at Irish Pub, there was a massive line stretching well out the door. Luckily, my friend Lynn had arrived earlier and was close to the front.

I joined her in line and took in the debauchery-filled scene. Drunken Colombians, adorned in green shirts and top hats, were everywhere. They sat at tables sipping green beer and blabbering in unintelligible Spanish.

A borracho Colombian.
I heard one guy yell, “¡Estoy borracho!” (I am drunk!)

I was surprised to see such a crowd and couldn’t help but feel like they had stolen our holiday—which we stole from Ireland—but that’s beside the point. I just really wanted some green beer.

After my friend Zach joined us, we finally made it to the front of the line and got a table inside the pub. Walking through the crowded bar, I heard a swirl of drunken English-Spanish conversations. I passed a few Americans flirting with Colombian girls speaking with broken English accents.

Borracho, indeed.

The gringos at Irish Pub!
We sat down and ordered a pitcher of the green beer. As we were engulfed by increasingly drunken chatter, I tried to guess who was American and who was not—it’s often hard to tell in the rich areas of Bogotá.

A few pitchers and one Irish car bomb later, it was time to go.
Headed back home with a healthy buzz, I thought to myself, The niños better behave tomorrow. Teacher Mike is going to be muy enguayabado.

And indeed he was.

1 comment:

  1. LOVE the Irish Pub :) One of the best true watering holes in Bogota.