Galway – Day 1

Arrived in Galway without any problem. Houston to Chicago with a 40 minute layover. Turns out the connecting flight was just on gate over in the very same terminal.
Luggage arrived safely and I caught a cab from the airport in Shannon to the Marriot in Galway.

I didn’t really sleep on the plane so I was pretty beat when I check into the hotel. I got some breakfast and decided to set my alarm and take a short nap. When the alarm went off I was sorely tempted to just go back to sleep but I knew this would be a bad idea so I forced myself to get up and get moving.

Galway is a very pedestrian friendly city. I was able to walk/shamble down to the city center and poke around. Very crowded on a Saturday. Tourists and street performers everywhere. The thing I am noticing more and more when I travel is how distracted the pedestrians are as the walk around yakking or texting on their mobile devices.

When they’re standing still it’s not so bad, they’re just clogging the pedestrian arteries. When they’re walking they’re like human smart bomb/missiles without the “smart.”

I made myself keep moving and I wandered around quite a bit. Most of the street performers were unremarkable at best, with the exception of two.

This young harpist was quite talented and a joy to watch, even if the din of the street traffic washed away much of the subtlety

Then there was this guy:

Cardboard instruments, cardboard sheet music, cardboard CD’s, cardboard pet dog. The only thing that wasn’t cardboard was the instrument case and the ever-growing pile of Euros inside it. He performed quite recognizable songs (mostly Irish traditional standards) by mouthing a series of “plinks” and “plonks.” He even brought up a spectator for a duet.


Click for full size

Note the paperclip capo on his “instrument.”

I must confess, it was probably one of the most sublimely brilliant pieces of street performance I have ever witnessed. Of course I witnessed it while being utterly sleep deprived.

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Jay Lee

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2 thoughts on “Galway – Day 1

  1. Mr Plinky Plonky aka John Nelson is from Liverpool and has been coming to Galway for the festival for years. About four years ago he started to do this act, reckoning that he could put an act together as good as any of the other performers on the street. In real life (whatever that is ) John is an engineer with British Telecom.

    The festival doesn’t really start until John arrives each year.

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