Paris is fun but there are many things I miss about home. Chief among them is Lucozade but I solved that problem a few weeks ago when I found a British/Irish food shop in the city. This week I set out to find a decent place to watch the Ireland/Scotland rugby match. Finding a good Irish pub in the city has become a priority of mine recently. Normally I try to stay from them but with St.Patrick’s day looming, which this year also coincides with the Ireland/England game, I’ve come to realise I’ll need somewhere good to celebrate, somewhere I can release my inner crazed rugby fan without looking like a madman.
Yesterday I ended up in a place called ‘Murphy’s House’, not a bad name for an Irish pub but I personally prefer a more classic ‘Murphy’s’ or ‘O’Connor’s’. It wasn’t my intended destination but I got lost ( I really have to stop leaving the house without looking up the directions first) and I figured most Irish pubs would be quite similar. Inside the place looked pretty genuine, it had a bar, bar stools, booths and a bunch of TV’s to watch the match, all the basic requirements but appearances can be deceiving. First of all I was one of only a handful of actual Irish people in the pub, most of the customers were French (obviously) or English. One particular group parked beside me would not stop talking throughout the entire first half, not only that but they were cheering for Scotland. I’m not saying you have to cheer for Ireland, but for any neutral in an Irish pub it is common decency. The pub also refused to turn up the volume on the television so the commentary could not be heard over the chattering and I really cared about hearing Chris Patterson’s opinion on the game.
Also I had to pay €12 for a small coke and a small plate of chips, I know Paris is expensive, but after paying €8 earlier in the day for a pint of Bulmers it really stung. They didn’t even provide salt and vinegar for the chips. Safe to say I will not be going back there for St.Patrick’s day.
All this business has led me to believe someone needs to set up a S.I.O.P.A., a Standards for Irish Overseas Pubs Association, to provide the world and Irish people overseas with information on where they can watch a game in a manner in keeping with Irish tradition. I know I’ve only been gone 6 weeks or so but I’ve come to realise whenever I’m feeling a bit homesick or want to do something that reminds me of home, it’s the small things, like watching an Irish game in a friendly environment that matter the most.