Friday, March 17, 2017

What I Learnt On My Irish Vacation

1.  I do not know what old is.  We asked about the age of a cathedral and the guide said “It’s new, built in the 18th century...”
2.  If you have trouble immediately knowing your right from your left, it is exponentially exacerbated when you drive on the left-hand side of the road and are asked which way to turn next…I said the wrong direction 1,254 times. 
3.  Irish people are some of the friendliest people in the whole wide world.
4.  I do not like straight whisky.
5.  I do, however, like Irish coffee.
6.  Lambs are pure joy.  I’m convinced they set the standard for joy when God first created joy.
7.  Sheep run from the sound of a human voice.
8.  You don’t have to pay the VAT tax as a tourist—you  can apply to get all taxes paid back to you.  Learnt that a few days in, unfortunately, and didn’t have all of the proper receipts.
9.  “Half eight” is not four.  It is 8:30.
10.  Irish people eat a lot of “chips”, otherwise known as french fries.  They serve them with everything…even pizza.  Chips are called crisps.
11.  If it’s raining now, it won’t be in a wee bit.
12.  The Easter Rising for Ireland’s independence was 100 years ago—went to a centenary celebration and learnt so much.
13.  An Irish breakfast is heavy on the protein, translation:  so much meat.
14.  Most Irish children are not chained to “entertainment”.  We spent several hours outside (rain and sunshine) at the Easter Rising celebration with speeches and music.  Literally hundreds of children of all ages played and chased and entertained themselves and we did not see a single child gazing at a phone or tablet.  It was refreshing.
15.  Irish people are not afraid to talk to strangers.  They will stop you in the street to chat.  I met a few characters that will appear in my writing, I’m sure of it.
16.  Castles are everywhere…in sheep fields, on the side of a winding road, in the yard of a more modern house.  We imagined people saying, “I have an abandoned castle in my yard, no big deal”…
17.  The Irish brogue is utterly beautiful.
18.  The Irish love America…Americans…all things American.  We were thankful.
19.  Irish people look surprised when you tell them what a beautiful country they have.  I suppose if you’ve lived there forever, you forget.
20.  Early barrel makers are some of the hardest-working people on earth.  Learnt that at the Guiness Storehouse.
21. Irish people love sweets.
22.  They do not, however, put maple syrup on their pancakes…and they eat a lot of pancakes.  Stacks of pancakes sit next to scones in bakeries.  They eat them on the go.
23.  There is no definable border between Ireland and Northern Ireland.  You just arrive.  You can tell you’re there when the currency changes from Euro to Pound Sterling. 
24.  The conflicts in Belfast are still brewing right under the surface.  I understand it a bit better after taking a black cab tour around the “troubled” area.  It was eye-opening. 
25.  The Titanic museum in Belfast is worth every single red pence.
26.  The Cliffs of Moher are pronounced, Mo-Her, not More…and they are stunningly beautiful. 
27.  Irish music is the saddest and happiest music we’ve ever heard—and beautiful.
28.  Rocket is delicious.  They use it on pizza, in salad, it’s everywhere.  We loved it and then we came home and discovered Rocket is Arugula.  :)
29.  Irish people stay up late and sleep in. B&B hosts serve breakfast at 9 – 10am  Early risers have to adjust.
30.  Ireland is known for her writers.  I understand why.  Ireland is rich in beauty, characters and story. 
It’s been a year since our visit to Ireland.  Every time I remember a moment of our visit, I smile.  It was, by far, one of my favorite trips of all time. 

*Learnt is an Irish/English form of learned.   (For the spelling/grammar Nazis out there.)  :)

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