26 October, 2015

Seafood and Irish ditties

One of my housemates, a postdoc, is leaving for sunny California. A farewell luncheon was called for, which finally converged into a whole-day Boston trip. We had mughlai paratha and malai kebabs at a Bangladeshi restaurant in Cambridge while cricket matches played on mute from television screens. Then onward to a brief tour of Boston, a city I like for its cleanliness. Also remarkable in its lack of ethnic diversity. I am yet unsure whether I should like or dislike the latter, or simply learn not to bin the world into a histogram of only two categories.

We had dinner at the oldest seafood restaurant in America, opposite the oldest tavern in America. Something was fishy here. All puns intended.

The Irish pub had a bunch of mostly college-goers. The two old men in a corner were singing some very old Gaelic songs, that would not have been amiss in some mead-hall in the emerald isle itself. One of them later confided that he was astonished at the number of young folks wanting encores of some of the oldest of Irish sing-along songs. As we entered, the only bunch of Indians in a sea of proudly-Irish Bostonians, the bar broke into the chorus of Molly Malone.

And suddenly I was bellowing along with the rest of them, thumping my fist and sloshing my drink, as Molly traipsed down streets, regardless whether wide or narrow, for every soul in that tavern. I had heard it a decade ago while in high school from some friends who had been on an exchange trip to Dublin.

Later I get into a brief spat with a drunk man, walk with my friends around the unearthly cleanliness of the Boston waterfront, be sick on the shoulder of the interstate thanks to the merry overdose of seafood and explain the cause to a rather large and curious police officer.

The next morning one was more than a little glad to be Alive, alive ho!

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