Saturday, May 19, 2012

A Good Irish Fellow

Greetings from Ireland, a.k.a. "the only place where all the stereotypes are true." Throughout the vast world there are numerous stereotypes regarding the Irish that are shared. Most have to do with sobriety, red hair, having a lot of children, and... well nothing else, really. Generally, you cannot bank on every stereotype about a race or group of people as being 100% true. At least that is what I hoped. In regard to the Irish, however, I am beginning to believe that the stereotypes are all true.

As you are aware, two days ago I left to the Emerald City. I took American Airlines as far as it could take me, which was (not surprisingly) not that far. I hopped on board Aer Lingus, which is Ireland's national air company. When I entered the international terminal in Chicago, I headed to the Aer Lingus terminal. As I arrived, I noticed that about half of the passengers had red hair. Upon further examination I noticed that everyone in the waiting area (with the exception of two sweet grandmas in the back and myself) had a beer in their hand. From that moment in time I have seen very few Irish folks without a beer in their hand.

During the day, people here seem remarkably cold. I rode a bus to Galway (the town where my friend Ian lives), which is a little more than three hours away from the Dublin Airport. I tried talking to everyone. It was early in the morning. I began by saying hello and each person either gave me an upset response, a shrug of their shoulders, or no response whatsoever.

A little more than an hour into the ride, the bus stopped in downtown Dublin, and a very nice red-headed gentleman by the name of Shane stepped onto the bus and sat next to me. Surprisingly, he said "hello" to me. I, being rather starved for personal interaction at the time, immediately began to chat with him. For the next two hours we talked with one another. He was quite interesting. He hailed from Galway, but was living in Dublin. His parents were Jehovah's Witnesses but he was an atheist (I managed to give him a copy of the Book of Mormon though). After about an hour into the conversation I asked my new friend Shane why he was so warm and bubbly when everyone else around was so bleak and cold. He quickly responded "well that's because everyone else is hung over." I laughed and then asked why he wasn't hung over. I was fully expecting a response such as "well because my parents are Jehovah's Witnesses I have decided not to drink." Instead, Shane looked at me and said, "Well I'm still drunk."

Shane asked me about the United States and their drinking habits. He was flabbergasted by the fact that the police would arrest you for being drunk in public. He also was completely confused as to how I had never tasted the "nectar of life."
Ireland is assuredly is a different place than those I am accustomed to. There really are more pubs than markets in this place. There are more pubs than gas stations. There are more pubs than anything else.

Well y'all, until tomorrow...
Let the whisky flow.

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