It’s In English, But It’s All Irish To Me
WE ARE THICK INTO THE PLANNING for our visit to Ireland in the spring of 2016. My wife, the lovely and Research Gifted, Dawn, and I are getting bleary eyed looking at websites featuring houses for rent, Historic Sites, and car rentals. It can be a daunting task.
Part of what makes it so is that while we are speaking English, and the Irish are speaking English, there is a large area wherein we might as well be speaking Klingon. There was an adage about this very thing in relation to Great Britain and the United States – “Two great nations separated by a common language.”
We have looked at, literally, hundreds of rental houses along with the descriptions of the properties and amenities. This is where we run into the linguistic wood chipper. This will be our fourth trip to Ireland so you would think we would have it all down by now. Nope – they must be creating new words just to confuse us.
A few examples:
You are reading about a house and learn that it has a “Jack and Jill” bathroom. What the heck is that? We found out that it means that two bedrooms share a single bathroom. Would it have hurt them to just say so?
And the house has a “Lounge, Diner, and a Wet Room.” To you and me that is a living room, a dining room, and a utility room that also has a shower, but no shower curtains or doors – so when you shower – everything in the room – Gets Wet.
One house boasted that it had a “Stanley Heater” in the lounge. That translates to a Space Heater in the Living Room. Maybe it helps if your name is Stanley.
It was good to learn that most Master Bedrooms were “en suite.” That means that it has its own bathroom, so you don’t have to share with Jack and Jill or, God forbid, Wet Stanley.
While you are “en suite” be sure to enjoy your “Power Shower.” This is something I really like. It heats the water over a coil a moment before it comes out of the shower head. It doesn’t utilize the water heater at all and gives you unlimited hot water. This is vital if you are traveling with your family. Nobody gets stuck taking a cold shower because they were the last one up.
In the bedroom you may find a “single bed, a double, or a king size bed” – pretty standard stuff. But then there is a strange hybrid monster called a “Four Foot Double Bed.” This is a bed that is only four feet wide, but is considered sufficient for two sleepers.
On what planet, Paddy?
That might be enough room for two corpses who probably aren’t going to roll over in the night. Or for a couple of people who have a combined weight of less than fifty pounds. A Double? Give me a break! Better yet, give me a king size bed, a 60 inch TV and – hand me the remote.
The list of words that “makes sense if you’re Irish, but not if you’re a Yank tourist” goes on and on.
I’m not really complaining . After all, part of the fun of going overseas is experiencing another culture – BUT… I just wish you could get iced tea in Ireland. We have solved that problem by taking along a couple of cheap, dollar store, ice trays. The Irish just don’t understand why we would want iced tea when we could have a warm Guinness. I won’t even try to explain it to them. After all, we are just visiting.