I’ve stayed in places where the view outside the window was a brick wall or another window looking back at me. Those are the windows that get the drapes closed immediately.
NOW THAT WE ARE HOME, after almost two months in Ireland, there are some things that are obvious only now. We were perfectly comfortable there and had no “When do we go home?” moments. The one exception might be when it comes to food. It was a case of “Close, but no cigar.” It’s just a case of liking the things I’m familiar with.
SOME PEOPLE ARE NOT AFRAID to say what they believe. I’m not talking about religious beliefs or anything political or even restaurant reviews. No, I’m talking about the people (I assume that they are actual people) at AccuWeather. Com. When it comes to forecasting the weather these folks don’t know the meaning of the word “Maybe.”
I just went to their website and, according to their seers and their array of Magic 8-Balls; it will start raining again here in 116 minutes – not 115, not 117, but 116 minutes exactly. Now THAT is a weather forecast.
For the first week here it was like living inside a really bad carwash. Now, all of a sudden it feels like a day at the beach might be in order.
IF THERE IS ONE THING YOU CAN SAY ABOUT IRELAND it’s that it is an island. No matter how lost you may become it is undeniable that if you come to the ocean it is time to turn around. Trying to go further can only have bad consequences or the need to learn another language on short notice.
And things are different wherever you go. Not “better” or “worse,” just different. That is true wherever you are. Everything “at home” is what you are used to, and whether you go to spend the day with your next door neighbor, or cross the ocean to…let’s say, Ireland, for example.
While St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated around the world, including Mexico, with parades and festivals, Cinco de Mayo doesn’t get much play in Ireland. While the Diaspora planted Irish souls in almost every country on earth, the cross pollination of Mexicans into Ireland has never reached major numbers.
I HAVE ALWAYS BEEN A GYPSY AT HEART. All the clichés are true when it comes to me. “The lure of the open road,” “The grass is always greener…yada, yada, yada,” “On the Road Again.” There must be a hundred or more that call out about the sound of the train whistle in the night and the hum of the tires on the pavement. A gypsy, a nomad, and wanderer, even terms that carry a negative aura – hobo and drifter. All of them pick at the deep seated strings of my being
OUTSIDE OUR APARTMENT THE WIND IS HOWLING. It is a north wind coming across the open sea from the polar regions. It may be late April, but it feels like February. I’m glad I brought along my heavy jacket.
The clouds in the sky, according to my wife, the lovely and cinematically referential, Dawn, resemble the clouds used by space aliens to conceal the Mother Ship from prying human eyes. She’s right.
I have the habit, unconscious though it may be, of slipping into whatever accent I hear around me. It’s a sort of a Zelig thing (Old Woody Allen movie, look it up). If I am conversing with someone from Louisiana it will take me just a few minutes before I find myself starting to talk like someone straight out of the bayou.
If I was on the other end of that conversation I would think that this fool (me) was either making fun of me or just plain nuts. I am not trying to make fun of anyone and, well – let’s not go there, OK?
The entire trip back to our “Base Camp” in Belturbet was consumed with trying to decide what to eat for dinner. We were exhausted, so preparing a meal for ourselves was quickly ruled out. We needed someone else to do the work and set the food in front of us.
While I make no claims to any superpowers. I barely have any skills at all other than an active imagination and decent powers of observation. I do notice things.
BABY, IT’S COLD OUTSIDE – and it’s cold inside for that matter.
We have arrived in Ireland in the midst of one seriously nasty cold snap. I’m not up on my Metric/Celsius scale of measurements, but I remember enough to know that 0 degrees Celsius equals 32 degrees Fahrenheit, which in my world equals freezing. I do not like freezing. I am not a quart of ice cream. I am not a package of pork chops. I am not an animal, I am a man!
Sorry, I got carried away there. That last bit is from an old movie, “The Elephant Man.”
What I’m trying to say is that it was cold. And rainy. Why do I act surprised? It’s Ireland and I’m a Yankee Flatlander used to central heating.
BY THE TIME YOU READ THIS my wife, the lovely and trans-atlantically adept, Dawn, and I will be in Ireland. If we aren’t in Ireland we will be in the Twilight Zone sitting next to William Shatner.
After a short hop from Indianapolis to Chicago we took the tall hop nonstop to Dublin. We’ve been in this airport before and I think it’s one of the better airports I’ve seen. Yes, it’s busy and crowded, but it works and you can get in and out with a minimum of hassle.
We will be in Ireland for the next seven weeks.