Friday, August 18, 2006

The Shannon

Further adventures on the far side of the world. Episode V - The Shannon

Ever since I first time I stepped into a Taiwanese club, I wanted to visit an Irish pub. I love Irish pubs - I feel at home in them. It fascinates me (probably because Irish is the part of my heritage that I identify with the most) that all Irish pubs seem to be universal the world over. I have been to Irish pubs in California, Boston, and of course Canada, and they are all the same. I wanted to see if a Chinese Irish pub would follow this trend.

I've been to Taiwanese dance clubs & bars, but they have no soul. Dance clubs and the like are designed for escapism. For getting wasted & letting loose. Usually these places are way too loud to hold a conversation, and are often trendy for the sole sake of being trendy (which usually doesn't work very well). I want a place where I can hang with my friends after a hard day of work, and relax. Have a few beers, enjoy some tunes, and hang out. A quick way to find such a place is to head to your local Irish pub.

Being in Taipei, the local Irish pub is a place called The Shannon, and it did not disappoint. It had a friendly, homey atmosphere, with wood and stone work in classic Celtic designs, a long oak bar, and a stone fireplace. It was a piece of familiarity surrounded by a foreign culture, and it felt exactly like an Irish pub should.

I also had my first Irish Car Bomb. For those unfamiliar with an Irish Car Bomb, it is a drink. You take a shot glass that is half full of Baileys, and half Jamieson. Then you drop the shot glass into a half-pint of Guinness, then chug. It tastes great. The Irish Car Bomb is one of the traditional drinks amongst the group of Googlers I work with, and it was great to have a round of them with all my expat co-workers in Taiwan.

I am heading back to Canada tonight. It was an excellent and interesting experience, and I had lots of fun. However, hitting up the local Irish pub is by far the best part of my trip.