Halloween in Dublin was a perfect night to go on a literary “pub crawl.” Our crawling party consisted of myself, Maureen’s brother Dan, his wife Christina and their children Cole and Ava. Cole was dressed as a Wraith, and Ava was in character as a lil’ devil. The city bustles with students who dress in costume and haunt the Temple Bar district, but it’s not the insane acid-fueled nightmare that you find in a place like Santa Cruz, California.
The pub crawl was a fun, tourist-y, way to spend an evening. The hosts, a man and woman whose names I missed because we arrived late, acted out rousing bits of “Waiting for Godot” and Oscar Wilde’s journals. They were very good and it gave a snapshot of the city’s literary heritage. But the part that impressed me most was standing in the square at Trinity College listening to the fireworks bang in the distance, echoing in the courtyard. Earlier in the day I spent some time on the Mount Street bridge looking for a geocache with historical references to the 1916 rising. The boom and clatter that fell on my ears was probably similar to what people heard in Dublin on an April night some 90 years ago.
To these thoughts add four or five rounds of Guiness on an empty stomach and I could pratically feel the ghosts of those who trod the cobbles before me. Such a history and such riches from a country that I always assumed lived in the nagging shadow of poverty.