CARNETS DESCARTES

Irish Nightlife

Irish Nightlife

Come over to spend only one week-end in Dublin and you will witness from far how Irish nights are different from the way French are enjoying their parties.

First, whereas in France you start having your dinner around 7:30 – 8:00 p.m., Irish people are already drinking alcohol. In fact, most of them tend to have dinner between 5:30 and 6:30, therefore drink earlier than us.

Speaking of alcohol, from my point of view, Irish persons have a strongly different approach with alcoholic drinks than what we have. What I noticed (particularly among persons who are the same age as me) is that their principal aim during a night seemed to try to be as drunk as possible. In other words, as Irish would say, they only think about “being completely wasted”. Sometimes, I saw men lying on the street and singing, women almost naked whereas we were in winter with a temperature less than 0 degree Celsius… You wonder whether they do not know their limits or if they simply do not care about what can happen.

This is the reason why I was not surprised when I read that according to the World Health Organisation, Ireland has the second highest rate of binge drinking in the world. Binge Drinking is “a pattern of drinking that brings blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels to 0.08 g/dL. (National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism).

To go out, you have two alternatives; whether dancing in a club or in a modern and commercial bar or enjoying your time in a pub with traditional Irish music (Of course, you can do a blend of both). There are several nightclubs brought together in the same street (Harcourt Street) such as Krystle, Copper Face Jacks, Dtwo and Dicey's Garden. Concerning the pubs, they all have live music singers and the artists are always playing 3 main instruments: the violin, the flute and the guitar. My favourite one is The Old Storehouse located in Temple bar.

Face to this strong pub culture, it is no wonder when you know that Irish celebrate the tradition of “The 12 Pubs of Christmas” during the month of December. This tradition entails groups of friends getting together and attempting to drink 12 pints in 12 different pubs over a single night. You can add some rules during that night such as “not drinking with your right hand in the 3rd pub”, “wearing a Christmas jumper”, “No using the restroom in the fifth pub…” and so on… For my part, after the 4th pub, I could not drink anymore.

Finally the last difference I noticed comes at 3:00 a.m., when it is time to go back home. Whereas in France, people use public transportation at night or simply wait until 6:00 a.m. the first subway, Irish take the taxi (I do not say that there are no French taking the taxi after a party, but as it can be expensive, they try to avoid to). The reason is because it is cheap. Transportation prices vary dramatically between France and Ireland. For a 3-kilometer ride in Paris, you would pay between 16.00€ and 20.40€ and in Dublin between 8.70€ and 14.50€      

To put in a nutshell, there is a strong gap between the Irish nightlife and the French one. At the beginning, I was really surprised (and I even felt a little bit oppressed) when I had to get ready and dressed at 7:00 p.m. Furthermore, every time I was disappointed when at 3:00 a.m. the party was over (in a club or in a pub) because I was thinking that it was too early and that it did not worth the price I paid. However, taking a step back, I realised that this rhythm was much more appropriate. In fact, I got used to it and I truly believe that it is better to avoid wasting your entire next full day by sleeping and recovering from the past night.

 

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