September 2007


They are. They’re really weird. But don’t trust me on this, trust two strangers, a picture of whom I found on the street.

Trust them by clicking here.

Number One Thing Probably No One Told You About Ireland:
They have Dolphins there. Right off the coast. Dolphins that come up and swim with your boat and make you totally forget that you’re in the boat to see the Cliffs of Moher, which are about 40 stories high and totally amazing, but mean almost nothing when there’s a Dolphin five feet from you jumping and playing in the water.

Something You Probably Wouldn’t Expect:
Pringles has Ireland LOCKED DOWN. Every single pub I went to had Pringles for sale, and usually no alternative for crisps (that would be chips, except I think Pringles actually call themselves potato crisps even in the States).

Biggest Food Let Down:
No one wanted to serve me Bangers and Mash. I could get Sausage (I actually had to consciously avoid it to get through a day without eating any) and I could get potatoes, but no one seemed to want to combine them for me. Sad.

Biggest Food Success:
It’s so easy to get curry for your sausage and fries. Shop Keepers of the USA, when will you catch on?

Totally Accurate Stereotypes:

  • Irish People Love To Drink
  • People in Pubs Sing Songs Together
  • Irish People Are Friendly
  • The Roads are a Fucking Nightmare
  • Gaelic is Absurd

On My Second Day There:
My mom crashed our car. It was really minor, and no one was hurt, but it totally fucked up the plans for the day. The upside to all this was getting to do things in Ireland that a tourist normally never experiences, like riding around in a guarda (cop) car, hanging out at a tow yard, and riding with a totally awesome cab driver all the way from Bray to the Dublin Airport.

One of the Guarda Actually Said This When Talking About Our Trip:
“I dunno why anyone would want to holiday in Ireland. We’ve nothin’ to offer and the weather’s crap.”

It Was Awesome:
Clearly.

Seamus (the Cabbie) Told Me This Great Story About a Crook:
“See, his big trick was to make sure he got arrested. He’d plan a job, then the night before he’d get a drunk on and make sure he was locked up for the day. The guarda hated him.”

SPECIAL ALCOHOL SECTION

Guinness Does Taste Different There:
But I still didn’t really have any because I don’t like beer.

Something You Probably Wouldn’t Expect – Part 2:
Captain Morgan’s Rum, which is gross, is completely different there and totally drinkable.

Don’t Bother Looking for Bourbon:
I’m sure SOME pubs have Bourbon, but the closest most got was Jack Daniels, which is gross. Just get some Powers.

END SPECIAL ALCOHOL SECTION

People Assumed I was Irish Because of:
My beard.

This is Despite the Fact That:
Very few Irish men had beards.

Seamus (the Cabbie) Told Me This Great Story About a Crook – Part 2:
“Anyhow, he eventually got his license taken away, so he took up a horse and buggy. See, you don’t need a license of any kind for that. So he’d get roarin’ drunk and take his buggy up and down the street outside the guarda station.”

80% of Ireland Looks Like:
This

Better in Ireland:

  • Mars Bars
  • Fanta Orange
  • Social Values and Community
  • Coca Cola. Again.
  • Number of castles

Better in the States:

  • The roads
  • The price of a Coca Cola
  • Salad
  • Respect for castles

Sounds Great But Wound up Being Kind of Gross:
I was served bacon* at every single breakfast.

Something You Probably Wouldn’t Expect – Part 3:
Dublin has more non-Irish accents than Irish accents. It’s an insanely mixed culture.

Seamus (the Cabbie) Told Me This Great Story About a Crook – Part 3:
The crook from the story was later murdered.

Realization While Writing This:
I apparently see the world largely in terms of food.

*Irish bacon, but I don’t discriminate against the bacons of the world.