The other night on our pub crawl, Eugene told us a story about the Irish people and how they would conquer the world. He started with the excuse that Ireland has been invaded by just about everyone else on the planet, and how Ireland has a hopeless military; but went on to describe their master plan. According to Eugene when you go into a bar in Ireland you are likely to be ignored for a while, but if you stick around eventually someone will come up and start talking to you. This is not because they are especially friendly, but because the are especially nosey. "Within 15 minutes they will have your name, your parents names, your grandparents names, and your home address." This information is useful he says because sometime in the future, when you least expect it "this person will show up on your door with a sleeping bag in hand." They'll find a quite place to settle down and sometime later fifteen of them will emerge! And this is how Ireland will conquer the world. We all laughed.
Last night at Fagan's pub we experienced part one of this scenario. We were watching the USA versus Ghana match having a nice time, enjoying a pint and some appetizers, and being cheerfully ignored by all the locals. Suddenly I felt a hand on my shoulder and turned around awkwardly to find a red-haired man in a gold and green striped jersey wishing the USA good luck. He wanted to know if we were on holiday here in Ireland? If we were football fans? How long we were staying? What we were doing in Galway? What was our surname? Where were we from? (city and state) As this very friendly irishman took a break of his inquisition to get another pint, Josh leaned over to me and said "Dad he's going to show up on our door with his sleeping bag!" I just about fell on the floor laughing!
Partway through the second half the whole scenario repeated itself with two different guys. It was all great fun, especially when Donovan tied up the score on his PK and the whole pub was cheering. Sadly that all came to an end early on in the overtime period when our world cup hopes for USA were dashed. Now we are left to wonder who to cheer for and whether our enthusiasm for watching world cup will wane after this defeat. We have watched a lot of football on this trip, its been a fun constant for us in a sea of daily change. Its forced us to sit down and relax at 4:00 or 8:30 most days rather than continuing to tour and walk. Its revived my taste for a good pint of beer.