October 26th, 2013: Pub Crawlin’ in Belfast, Northern Ireland
As with every Halloween, we dress to impress. Let me tell you a quick story of my first and only Halloween experience thus far abroad. That’s me on the right with the honey hanging on me. Can you tell who I am? I’m Bond. Matt, Bond. The rest of these beautiful people are other international students form the University of Ulster. Mostly Frenchies, but that tall guy on the left was my Turkish housemate, Shirin. We call him the Turk. I’m the Yank. Anywho, so we go out on the town (Belfast) and go to this awesome three-story pub called Lavery’s for a Halloween party. Honestly I don’t think I’ve seen so many awesome costumes in one place. Apart from the good times, copious amounts of drink and banter, my night got a bit fuzzier when we left this incredible bar. See, in Ireland, there are Turkish Kebab stores on almost every strip of pubs & clubs. And it’s the best drunk food you can get for under £7. So naturally when we left Lavery’s we went straight across the street to the first Kebab store we could find. The line was out the door, so my friends and I stood there talking and carrying on. While this was going on, a middle aged man approached me and I greeted him with a passing, “hey.” Little did I know he wasn’t looking for conversation. I’m not sure if it was my awesome £10 tuxedo, or the £1 green alien gun I had loosely tucked in my jacket, but he did not like me one bit. Without a word, he reached into my jacket and took out the toy gun – smashing it over his knee in the same motion. Shocked, my friends and I stood there without words. The next moment he swings his left forearm full-force into my cheekbone and I stumble into the brick wall outside the Kebab store. As I stumble to stand back up he does the same with his right hook into the side of my head – and I was down for the count. I looked up as he ran away around the corner, and my friends picked me up still in shock that this man had assaulted me with seemingly no reason. We briefly spoke with the police across the street, but the man was gone. Needless to say, I will never dress like James Bond again (although the women really liked the cheap tux). I’m still puzzled as to what spawned this man’s rage against me – but it’s quite a story to say the least. So my advice to anyone going out for a few drinks on Halloween in Belfast, leave the green alien guns at home. Its not worth the headache in the morning.
October 27th, 2013: Pub Crawlin’ in Derry London Derry, Northern Ireland
The next day was a bit less violent apart from the morning hangover. This time I decided to go as a greaser because I didn’t really have another costume, and what more do you need apart from some gel and a white tee? The entire international group from Jordanstown campus left on two coach busses for Derry London Derry. Just another Halloween excursion with people from other campuses across Northern Ireland, but it was one of the best times I’ve had. My friend Thomas from Germany is that guy on the right dressed in an alligator onsie. I think he was the first one to fall asleep on the bus ride back to the east coast, but we had one hell of a night. Derry London Derry has one of the best Halloween weekends in the UK. Theres a midnight parade with all sorts of crazy costumes and floats, which people stream out of the pubs to watch in the streets. Not to mention a fantastic fireworks display and the most interesting & inexpensive drinks I’ve ever had! Cheers.
Check out Lavery’s pics when Halloween weekend comes around. The costumes are always great!
Also read about festivities in Derry London Derry here: