Bewley’s oriental cafe

- Fiction with facts and inspiration from a travel to Ireland. -

Oki doki my friend! Last time, I told you a story about me and me fellas first evening in Ireland. I told you about when we looked for a hotel, when we first saw the dear river Liffey, the great irish friends (not at least the gorgeous irish girl) we met at a hamburger bar at Grafton street. Right? And you remember I told you about the scaring start of our driving on the left side, bound for the west coast, not to mention the most loveable girl playing the harp and singing so sad irish songs at the great Cliffs of Moher? And I promised to tell you more about the trip. Am I not an honest man keeping my promises?

Isn’t coffee lovely to drink? I really must sip some more coffee before I start. Put in a CD with Irish women or maybe Hothouse flowers, and look at the traditional Irish prayer that hang there on the wall, while I sip my coffee:
"May the road rise to meet you.
May the wind be always
at your back.
May the sun shine warm
upon your face,
the rain fall soft
upon your fields
and, until we meet again,
may God hold you
in the palm of His hand."

Well, we entered the highway from Dublin towards Galway. Soon we understood it wouldn’t be a highway all the way, soon the road was much narrower. And wasn’t it using the main road in every single town and village we passed? But didn’t we have vacation and weren’t in a hurry at all? It really was nice to see the towns and villages and not only pass outside. And I saw those small petrol stations I remember from when I was a youngster, some had the petrol really on the main road, you just had to slip near the sidewalk, stop and fill up the tank. Yes, this meant we were very hungry long before Galway. We stopped in a village, stretched our legs (shakin’ after hours on the left side...), and walk to the town centre. We found a small pub and walked in. Some were watching a football game on TV and we asked if we could have anything to eat? “You can have a Guinness or two, that will fill up your stomach”, was the laughing answer. Wasn’t that a bad idea? Guinness, you know, is a famous irish beer. It’s a stout, the kind of bear that really is black with foam thick as cream. So I guess the guy was right, we would be filled up. But we were driving, so wasn’t it a bad idea? And besides that, alcoholic beverages are not good at all. So we bad farewell and walked to the next pub. This time we were luckier and we got our fish and chips and everything a man needs on his ride to Galway and Connemara, and didn’t we listen to the locals talking the true things?

Soon we were in the car again, and the day turned to evening as we passed nice villages and sceneries. And we came to the outskirts of Galway, but left directly, surely we liked to come a bit further into Connemara this day. And the road was even narrower and winding. And the irish drivers could drive so much faster than we drove. Sheep, we saw them on the roads walking or laying warming up in the last sun rays, we would be used to see them everywhere!

STOP! I shouted. Me fella pushed the brake to the bottom and left the main road into an even smaller one, lucky we were not to smash into another car. It was a B&B sign I had seen at a lovely country side farm. Sure, isn’t all Connemara a lovely countryside place? Connemara, I love that word, it says so much. Anyway, hadn’t the mum decorated and cleaned the rooms so nicely and wasn’t there a room for us? As soon as we had taken in our things some other guests arrived and we all sat together and drunk tea together with that superb fruit cake. Then, we took another cup of tea. The evening was lovely, we went out to a small forest and found a nice little lake. It looked so clean and mystic and it was a perfect place to just be at. And the rest of the world didn’t matter at all, at all. Rain in Connemara? No way, the sun was shining and I can proof that if you look at my photos.

I slept so well in that fantastic bed and the cows woke me up, I opened the window and saluted my morning greetings back, and after a great irish breakfast we went further into Connemara. I didn’t miss Dublin at all, not at all.

But a few days later, after many winding roads, so gorgeous Connemara-girls, superb sceneries and food, suddenly we were in Dublin again! We tried another hotel, and didn’t I like to watch one more ravishing irish girl at the reception with her long black hair? Surely I hoped she was always working.

Bewley’s oriental cafe! Bewley’s at Grafton street became a favourite place. Not for the cakes. Nor for the weak coffee (compared to swedish). But I say it didn’t matter at all! The atmosphere at Bewley’s! The old fashion interior! The dresses on the staff in old fashioned black and white, the ladies with white aprons and everything! The great Trinity college is not far away. You understand it was nice to sit and chat and at the same time watch all the young students so dutifully doing their homework (when they not met their friends) as they drunk cup after cup of tea or coffee? Surely, it does rain sometimes in Dublin, but isn’t Bewley’s always open having a seat for one more? Can an evening be better? Probably not! Of course we had to check if that was right, so we really had to go to the Temple bar district, which the lovely irish friends we met the first evening at Mc Donalds said we should go to. We choose a pub where the tune of lovely irish music was streaming from the windows, music like The Dubliners if you know what I mean. Ooops, the CD has stopped. Will you put in another? I really want to hear U2. Thanks. Did you know they run a hotel close to Temple bar? We found we were not the only ones liking this pub, it was sooo crowded. The irish are so friendly so there was a place for us as well. And one of the waitresses had a burning irish hair and she was so likable. Hadn’t she noticed me too and smiled to me? After that we had to admit it could be a great evening in Dublin not only at Bewley’s. No problem to walk home in the rain, no problem at all. The problem was I didn’t want to walk home.

(written 1999)

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