Hurling is, at the moment, the favorite sport of all people in Ireland. There’s a semifinal, or something like that, today, and Cork is playing Tipperary. Grab your red jerseys, it’s time to hit the pubs.
…red for Cork, of course.
Sam came down to my place fairly early. I guess you haven’t met Sam yet. Sam is short for Samantha, and she studies packaging, is doing a program on business and marketing while she is here, and lives two floors above me. We get along nicely, and she gets along with Christy, so we’ve gone out shopping once or twice since we met–which hasn’t been that long. Sam’s also been hiding out at my place because she doesn’t exactly get along with one of her flatmates. For only knowing each other for about three days, I’m not quite sure how to handle the excessive sitting in my living room. Anyway, she came over early, as I had promised to lend her one of my red shirts.
We headed out to the pub pretty much as soon as Christy arrived. We were supposed to meet a few other people, so when we actually got to the pub, it was pretty full. We did manage to score a table, and ordered lunch. At this point I was absolutely starving, but the game was starting, so we turned our attention to the TVs.
Hurling is…interesting. It’s like a combination of la crosse, football, soccer, field hockey, softball, and rugby. The players have a ball about the size of a softball, which they can carry on a long extended paddle or bounce off of the paddle (they’re only allowed to carry it on the paddle for a certain number of steps). They can get a goal by getting the ball into the soccer-styled net or they can get a point by hitting the ball through the football-styled goal. They pass the ball by hitting it with the paddles. Each game runs for 90 minutes, and there is really no such thing as a time out. It is quite interesting to observe, for about the first half of the game. Then you realize that your neck hurts from looking up and your food hasn’t shown up yet. And it’s somewhat disheartening when the team you have randomly decided to support (based on your geographic location) is very obviously losing.
The food was good, traditional (why it took so long), and hot. By this point that pub was crowded to overflowing, and the management was trying to get a large puff-costume of one of the hurlers into the pub. There was, of course, an employee wearing the costume, but it was hard to tell. They kind of looked like a wrinkly marshmallow. After attempting to navigate through the crowd, they finally decided to take Mr. StayPuff Hurler through behind the bar.
We watched in awe as he managed to make his way through without knocking the entire inventory off of the shelves. Nary a glass was broke.
We stayed until the game was done (Tipperary won) and then made our ways home. Sam stayed at my place a little more that evening, then headed up to her apartment. While we were walking back, we noticed some new people, a family, moving in and out of the apartments. We don’t know how long they’ll be here, and we were kind of surprised to see kids, but apparently they let out some of the apartments for the summer hols, and these folks were catching the last couple weeks before school started again. Should be interesting.