An International Cafe to Remember
Every Friday night at Adelaide Road there`s a International Cafe organized by the Adelaide Presbyterian Church during the months of October-December and February-May.
Its an ideal place for foreigners students who are looking for opportunities to meet new people from and outside their country of origin, practice their English, have a fine meal for only 2 euros (the payment is optional!) and enjoy themselves.
And don`t worry if you are not a christian. Everyone can come, no matter your beliefs. And nobody will talk about religion with you if you are not interested in it.
To write the article, I went to the Cafe on Friday May 10. The place was empty since I arrived early. As the clock approached 19:30 pm people started to enter the church. At 19:35 I entered. There were between 15 people, most in their 20s or 30s.
Little by little we took the elevator in groups into the upper floor. We entered in a cozy and warm room with 3 big tables. People formed a line and each one wrote their complete names on a list, and then we wrote our first names in a label. I couldn’t stop thinking about Alcoholics Anonymous.
After we sat on the tables, one the church members asked if everyone there was from Brazil. Everybody, me included, confirmed. I felt closer to home than ever. But also to my surprise, nobody spoke to each other in Portuguese.
Later, when talking to a young couple sitting next to me, I learned that this was the first time that only Brazilians appeared. In previous events, they confirmed me a much more varied number of nationalities from countries such as India, China and France.
Another member of the church said that we would watch to a rugby game between Ireland and Wales. People laughed. In Brazil you would be luck if even 1% of the population knew what rugby is. The irony was that even the Irish themselves don`t know all the rules.
In my mind and the others, the closest thing we associate to Rugby is American Soccer. But the church members confirmed that the differences between those two are big.
Before the beginning of the match we had a meal. The best part is that it is for free. If you want to, its possible to contribute with the amount of 2 euros. Most decided to contribute.
When the game began, we were all shocked by the violence and physical contact of Rugby. We were all used to football, a sport where the players fall for almost anything. In Rugby they also fell, but they got up right after. Another interesting detail: most of the professional players don`t earn in a year what the big stars of football earn in a day.
Folks either watched the first half trying to understand the match, or talked among themselves. I chose the second option, and talked with a young couple and a men in his 20s. They, and the majority of the internationals there were studying English.
Aside from the difficulties of understanding the Irish accent we mostly talked about accommodation. Most internationals problems in Dublin appear to be associated with the high prices of renting, and having to move every couple of weeks.
When the first half ended, the tables were taken, and we either could wait to watch the second half, or go to another room to play board games (sorry, no PlayStation or Xbox).
It was another moment to meet and talk to people. I also learned. a little bit of Ireland`s history an geography through one of the board games we played. The game offered many tips for Brazilians travelling around Ireland.
When the Rugby game ended, sadly, so did the Cafe. Though I left without understanding anything about rugby, I was anxious to return another time.
Every evening at the International Cafe has a different event. You can find more about it at their Facebook page.