Irish Hurlers in Montréal

We decided to eat dinner in the little restaurant attached to the hotel this evening. It was quiet when we went in, with only one other couple in the restaurant at the time. We settled in, translated the menu, and got our drinks. So far, it seems that Canada is rather European in schedule, so there is plenty of time to sit and talk, people watch, or otherwise amuse yourself. We were not far into our actual meal when a group of men walked by, and then into, the restaurant.  They were all wearing sports jerseys, so I assumed they were footballers (soccer players. Get with the times). Then, as the evening progressed, I began listening…and I realized. These were no ordinary footballers.

These were Irish hurlers.

For reference, hurling is huge in Ireland, and it is the only game I have ever gone to a pub to watch. It’s a weirdly enchanting sport, because a good part of the time the ball (sliotar) just seems to hover over the stick, and you’re just sitting there going

even though you know it’s not. Also, if people are watching it on a big screen, it’s like watching a bunch of kittens watch a ping pong game. But I digress.

So there I sat, eavesdropping as I am wont to do, and as I listened, I realized that one of the lads was from Cork, and I couldn’t help but laugh. Because, what other sort of person would I run into? Clearly I have been away from Ireland for too long, and the universe chose that this must be immediately rectified.

Apparently they’ve been traveling and doing sports workshops, as well as playing some games themselves. The latter has contributed to all of them getting a bit banged up, but in true Irish fashion, it seems it is nothing a bit of rest and a lot of beer can’t fix. After dinner had run its course and everyone was all chatted out, they went on to do a bit of pubbing.

I sat down and did a bit of research. I don’t have much to do tomorrow, so I am hoping to spend a bit of time experiencing the city and getting to know the personality quirks of Montréal. I’m also set on finding a bookstore at some point during this trip…I’ve run low on books.


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