Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy Paddy's Day!

This is my second Paddy’s Day in Beirut, tying it with the number of times I’ve celebrated Paddy’s Day in Dublin. (If there had been blogging back then (1998 & 2000), I’d link to my posts about them. Alas, those memories are recorded with pen and paper.) Last year’s Paddy’s Day in Beirut was great. I convinced Amigo to have a Paddy’s Day party and to sell Guinness. I invited a bunch of Irish Americans with names like Barrett, Foley, and Cole. The only catch was that I was responsible for procuring the Guinness, which you can find in very few places. So, a couple of days before Paddy’s Day, I strolled down to Score Market and purchased 48 cans of Guinness for around $200.

Do you know how heavy 48 cans of Guinness is?

Now, imagine this American girl wearing a Cincinnati Reds cap walking down a rainy street in Hamra carrying 48 cans of Guinness. I made it a block before my arms started to burn. I made it half another before I had to set the cases on top of the short poles that prevent people from parking on the sidewalks. I began to use each of those poles, then I reached muscle failure and could no longer carry them. Seeing me covered at this point in sweat, a shop owner let me leave one of the cases in his shop while I carried the other home. I went back to get the other one and he began to ask me questions about Guinness, so I told him about the brewery and the process of making it dark and I was going to give him a can to try. But it turns out he is a devout Muslim, so he apologized that he couldn’t accept it.

Amigo didn’t make any money on the Guinness that Paddy’s Day. He had to charge ten bucks a can to make any profit. But streams of whiskey were flowing, too. He had purchased all sorts of green colored food not typically thought of as Paddy’s Day food – foul, green almonds, olives.

Tonight I’m going to stop by the liquor store where I get my Almaza and wine, as they’re having a green beer party. Right now I’m sitting in the Mayflower Hotel drinking Guinness because Score Market is out of it. Someone’s having a party – wish I knew who…

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