|Beer Cave lights|
|Returning the car to Sligo Airport this morning emphasizes to me that the trip is nearly over. We taxi and bus our way back to Galway, which takes most of the day since we have to wait a couple of hours in the Sligo bus depot. Becca and I meet an interesting chain-smoking older man from Belfast who comes over to talk to us. He introduces himself as "one of those Irish guys who never shuts up." He's not lying. He shows us his Freedom Pass for seniors, which allows him to travel all over the country by bus and grins, "Best thing the British government ever did for us." We laugh, slightly uneasily, but he really is only kidding, as further conversation reveals his disgust at the behavior of paramilitary factions in Belfast.|
|Once we reach Galway, we eat dinner, which essentially consists of a lavish assortment of pizza toppings on baked potatoes, before catching a performance at the Galway Town Hall Theatre. It's Brian Friel's Translations, which we've all either read or re-read during the trip. The performance isn't bad, although the younger actors have a tendency towards melodrama. The two older men, who are the keys to the play anyway, are fantastic, particularly the man who plays the idiot savant, Jimmy Jack. He strikes exactly the right blend of pathos and gaiety and it brings tears to my eyes at the end, when he talks about the loneliness of being a widower in remote Donegal. I don't think I fully understand the play until I watch it. It addresses, in a subtle and gripping way, the attempt to maintain cultural identity in the face of political conquest, technological progress and simple exposure to other cultures through increased mobility. All the perspectives on it are personified and the struggle between them embodied in a love story. It's brilliant.|
Lost in our own thoughts and perhaps a little tongue-tied with emotion, we make our way to the Beer Cave in the Bazaar again for whiskey and Guinness. The low lighting and long couches filled with squishy pillow make hours fly by like minutes. We eventually unwind enough to chat until it's time to catch a few winks before Becca and Kegan fly out in the morning.
|Kegan and Becca with our faithful Nissan Micra|