...Continued from page 1

I should have known. The French have an affinity for Ireland and if you are over in the West you bump into French - literally, on the wrong side of the road - there all the time. I saw then there a long time ago, and I suppose that I just sort of thought every French person who had ever been in a pub in Dingle or in Clifton, came back to Paris and opened a pub of their own, because they are such great places.

When there was only one or three 'Irish Pubs' in Paris, there were a fair number of Guinness outlets, because Belgians like all sorts of weird beers, and I think Guinness was ever brewed in Belgium at one time if it is not still. At any rate, you could always get a pretty good - not perfect, mind you - a pretty good pint, in places in Paris that sold moules and frites.

And now Mary Blume is telling me Irish Pubs are sold as kits. Ah, prunes!

I'm just kidding; I'm not that sour about it. Even if it doesn't sound like much to you, I have a couple of memories left over from a couple of unusual days in Dublin, or 'Publin' as some Germans call it. Not drinking doesn't take them away, although for the life of me I can't honestly say why I've even got these memories, or how. Absolute mystery.

Anyway, another reason Irish pubs are popular in France, fake or not, and as Mary Blume points out, is that the French, even if they've never been to Ireland, seem to know that Irish pubs are places where you have fun.

I do not know how they know this. But these are not places to drink and run. These are places made comfortable enough to hang around in and house rules are that you talk to the other customers and they to you. Very much like the mañana way of keeping time in Spain, in Ireland 'there's time.'

As in closing time. I don't know if things have changed in UK since I was there about a 100 years ago, but one thing that really got on my nerves there was closing time, last call, time, drink up gentlemen please thank you goodnight, slam, and there you are on the wet street and no place to go but a damp B & B in Bayswater.

Not in Irish pubs. They close slowly. One time I was in Mulligan's, it closed so slowly in the afternoon I was still in it when it opened after the break.

I thought the re-opening was a sign I should leave for lunch and the first place I tried there was only one customer but he was a maniac and insisted on buying rounds Old church door of Paddy for the 'house,' partly because there was only the bartender and me - and is the gist of the reason why I never ever ate any Dublin Bay prawns in that city.

According the Mary Blume, the Irish pubs to avoid in Paris are the ones that are considered 'in' by what is known locally as 'jeune cadre dynamique,' or maybe that should all be plural if there's two of them, but if you find these types being in the majority in any place you happen to be in Paris, you are probably in the wrong place.

These specimens, are 'suits'-in-training, and are not comforting types to pass time with - and now that I think of it, I haven't seen any around lately. There is a certain kind of salon I'm not going to anymore, and I guess that's where I used to run into them.

There is one thing I do know though. There is no Mulligan's in Paris. Despite all good intentions, it is not exportable, in a kit.

There are always 'coming events' in Paris and there will be some this week, but after last week I don't care. If you need to know something, write me, and I'll look it up.

Regards, Ric
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