Thursday, March 18, 2004

St. Patrick's Day in Osaka. I wore green socks. I'm not Irish. I never did anything in America on this holiday, which always seems to fall on a weekday, but Angela and some other Italians wanted to drink green beer, and we decided to make our way to Japan's oldest Irish pub, Murphy's, to swill a pint or two after work. I never tried green beer, either, so it seemed like a reasonable quest. Unfortunately, the bar was out of green beer or the tap was broken, and we settled for black beer which, although not my favorite choice, seemed the right alternative on this occasion.

When asking a friend of mine if he was going to join us, Patrick, whom the Italians insisted must go out on his "name day," responded by telling me that, aside from the fact that he wasn't Irish, he wasn't thrilled about going to a crowded bar where the music would suck. I had similar feelings, preferring quieter places where one could actually sit and relax. The music didn't matter so much, but I envisioned rhapsodic Irish folk music ad infinitum among colliding pint glasses.

In making our way to the pub, none of us knew exactly where it was, we saw three of our female coworkers, arm in arm in arm, walking at a brisk pace, holding drinks, and singing loudly. As they were going in our same direction, we knew we were on the right track and consented to follow the drunk, singing, Irish girls.

The bar was packed. I wasn't surprised to hear American music inside, although there were Irish songs mixed in, too, which started the entire bar singing. Actually, a song by The Doors got me thinking, again, about who the greatest American rock and roll band of all time was, which was a continuation of a conversation I had had with a coworker a few days prior.

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