steve earle is very cool (2004-02-12 - 11:21 a.m.)

I spent yesterday walking around Belfast with John. It sucked a bit because, being a student, he couldn't really sleep in and the night had been pretty noisy (nothing like having five assorted roommates come in from the pub at different times during the night! Also his room's right beside the main living area). So he was tired but managed to hold the crankiness to a minimum.

We just sort of toured the main areas of Belfast on foot, and I ran a bunch of errands and sent some things off. We were dying for a sandwich, sitting in the middle of a drab, pigeon-infested square, and had no idea which way to walk. We ended up asking a local girl, who directed us to a very cheap and quite good sandwich shop. The toilets cost 20p, though! But it was a good day of walking around all in all.

But the highlight of the day was definitely the Steve Earle concert. It was amazing. It was in this very strange church with lovely padded concert-hall seats. It was a solo acoustic show, just him and his guitar/mandolin/banjo. I hadn't known that much about Steve Earle (but I had liked what I'd heard) but I'm definitely a convert now. He played a lot of great songs, including my favorite of the few I had known (Galway Girl, appropriately). He came across as very intelligent and funny, which won my heart immediately.

And of course, it was a very surreal feeling seeing a solo Steve Earle concert in the middle of Belfast! Sometimes I can't quite believe I'm actually here, in these places I've only heard about.

This being Ireland, we also had to stop at a pub last night after the show. I find the pub culture here very odd. In Canada, in general the pub is where you go when you want a pint and some conversation, rather than dancing in a meat-market bar, and you usually wear your old jeans. Here, it would appear, the pubs ARE the meat-market bars. Everyone is incredibly dressed up. It's insane. All the girls are in tight jeans or tiny miniskirts and little tiny tops, and plastered with makeup. The first pub we stopped at was so crowded you literally had to shove your way through. The second one wasn't much better. The third was much more my idea of a pub, but unfortunately there was an annoying pub quiz going on. However, I tried some of the local cider (which had a strange aftertaste: you could tell it was made of fermented fruit!) and John of course had a Guinness. But that was an interesting venture into the nightlife of Belfast.

Oh, and in other news, the heat's back on. One of the roommates managed to organise the heat-oil guy coming by last night, and so I wasn't freezing. Very pleasant (especially as I could see my breath last night outside!)

backwards ~ onwards

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Missed anything?
moved! - 2008-05-12
Sunday = time to ramble on - 2008-05-11
apparently I'm doing monthly updates these days. Sorry. - 2008-05-04
watershed - 2008-04-06
end of trip - 2008-03-31

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