Just like Alanis Morrisette, I have always had a tough time determining when something is ironic, shocking or dumbfounding. This has plagued me since my days in elementary school when I was only writing book reports. One particular grade school teacher made me feel moronic for misidentifying the term ironic when I was ten. I guess that negative reinforcement has created a repressive block on a section of my brain because I still freeze up when attempting to figure the difference between irony, coincidence, or linguistic juxtapositionafication.
Melissa and I on a balcony overlooking Montanita’s famous surfing beach.
I think that it’s ironic that this teacher publicly dunce-capped me since I’ve gone on to teach English in five countries, won money on Wheel of Fortune, and now write every day. Meanwhile, she probably only works with words while playing Scrabble and Bingo. But in an attempt to improve my vocabulary I will analyze the nature of irony.
Places where surprisingly and/or ironically you can not buy beer
Melissa and I have traveled to over 30 countries and 30 states and beer has been an omnipresent noun along the way. We drank from beer steins, beer mugs, and Nalgene bottles. We glided passed billboards depicting happy guzzlers and enough neon signs to stretch from the Guinness brewery in Ireland to the Tiger factory in Singapore.
But one thing which intrigues me is when beer is not available in situations or at locations in which you expect the beverage to be present. Here are three:
Charly Garcia, Fito Paez and other Argentine National performed at Quilmes Rock. But no Quilmes beer was to be found.
1. Quilmes Rock festival in Buenos Aires, Argentina
Our friends Tim and Julie joined us in traveling to parts of Argentina and Uruguay. On the day they flew to Buenos Aires we saw Charly Garcia, Fito Paez and other Argentine groups perform during the Quilmes Rock Festival.
Why we were surprised that there was no beer at Quilmes Rock Festival:
Generally speaking Argentines love live music and many of them enjoy drinking wine, fernet or beer while watching a show.
Was it ironic that there was no beer at Quilmes Rock Festival:
Quilmes is a huge beer company which distributes beer all over Argentina. There are so many billboards, advertisements, and umbrellas branded by Quilmes logos that you can’t go five seconds without passing one. Yet we couldn’t get a Quilmes beer at the Quilmes National Rock Festival.
After the dry KSC football match in Karlsruhe, we headed to a Beer Fest.2. KSC soccer match in Karlsruhe, Germany
2. KSC soccer match in Karlsruhe, Germany
We met our friend Lord Ax Hooper in his hometown. He took us to a soccer match in Karlsruhe that was dry, in other words, they don’t sell alcohol. Immediately after the game he brought us to a beer festival to make up for the lack of beer at the stadium.
Why we were surprised that there was no beer at Wildpark Stadion:
Germany is a beer-adoring nation. They have a beer for everything including one to drink with a morning sausage.
Was it ironic that there was no beer at Wildpark Stadion?:
I feel that it was ironic because most people around the world assume that Germans would have beer. Is that a correct use of irony or a misidentification? How about the fact that Alemania is German for Germany and it begins with A-L-E? Does that make it ironic that there was no beer sold at a soccer match? I’m never going to get this right.
You can have fish soup and get buy some shades, but it’s tough to find a beer on Sundays in Montanita.
3. Down by the beach-town of Montanita, Ecuador
We met Sergio when we traveled to the Galapagos Islands. A few months later we reunited on the Ruta Del Sol and spent two night in the party town of Montanita. This beach town is infamous for all-night parties which draw backpackers by the hostel-load. On Sunday there is technically no alcohol for sale from stores and vendors.
Why we were surprised that there was no beer on Sunday in Montanita:
Montanita is a huge tourist draw with plenty of beach town competition both to the North and South. Not serving alcohol on the weekend to a party-hungry beach party crowd may cause them to take their thirsts elsewhere.
Was it ironic that there was no beer on Sunday in Montanita?:
Well for me it was. When Sergio first brought us to the small grid of a town known as Montanita it was passed midnight and technically still Sunday morning. There was alcohol for sale everywhere. Street vendors were selling fish soup with beer, nearly any building with a door had beer for sale, and pizza carts were rolling up and down the street enabling patrons to eat without leaving their beers. When we awoke the next day the beach and town were practically deserted. No beer = adios ami-(grin)-gos.
Well I don’t thing I’ve learned anything new about irony but I’m ready for a cold one.