Further Adventures in Ireland (County Cork)

It turns out most of the stuff self heard about the Irish are not true.

For one thing, the Irish are really direct.  They don’t mince words.  If they don’t like you, you’ll know it.  In about two minutes.

This is a good thing.  Because, after all, who has the time?  Why tie oneself up into knots trying to figure out this or that or the other thing?  If self wants a wake-up call, she’ll go straight to Ireland.

But when an Irish person smiles at you, it’s like the sun!  Self is NOT KIDDING!  It’s better than when a Californian smiles at you because it’s not a politeness thing, it’s a sincerity thing!

Self is also really grateful that she did not push through with her decision to cancel her subscription to Condé Nast Traveler. 

In her periodic attempts to simplify her life, self tries to get a grip on all her magazine subscriptions.

She must have at least 20.

The one big thing she decided to cancel this year was The New York Times Book Review, which she’d been subscribing to for at least 20 years.  That subscription was over $100, who wants to keep subscribing to a thing one has barely enough time to read?

She wavered quite a while over Condé Nast Traveler.  She is impatient with the articles that seem geared exclusively towards possessors of the Gold American Express card.  But, in contrast to the NYTBR, the cost of a year’s subscription to Conde Nast Traveler is only $12.  That’s $1 per month.  Even though self barely had time to read it, especially in the past year, she did stumble upon an article about “Hidden Gems,” one of which was Ballyvolane House in County Cork, Ireland.  Where self is spending tonight and tomorrow night.

The minute she walked in the door of the house (built in 1728, originally Georgian style but now Italianate — don’t ask self to explain, she’s reading this from a book she found in her room), she felt she’d landed in the middle of a Merchant & Ivory movie.  No, it was better than a Merchant & Ivory movie.  Because she was in it.

Ease:  Self's bed in Ballyvolane House, County Cork, Ireland

Ease: Self’s bed in Ballyvolane House, County Cork, Ireland

She arrived back in Dublin last night.  Thank God her Aer Lingus flight was uneventful.  Dublin was pouring rain.  She made it by bus to O’Connell Street, but there were no taxis.  She got to Inchicore drenched to the skin, an hour before dark.  She stumbled out for Chinese take-out, then lugged everything on the train for Cork (from Heuston Station) this morning.  But — heavens to mergatroid — self is getting good at this!  Not even man-handling two full-to-the-brim rollies and a purse and a laptop threw her the slightest bit off-schedule. Not the slightest bit.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

 

2 Comments

  1. Hamilton said,

    June 4, 2014 at 6:59 pm

    Before my friend and I went to Ireland, everyone, including my friend’s Irish half of the family (she’s half Puerto Rican as well) told us how NICE everyone in Ireland is. One woman, fresh back from her trip to Ireland, told me how how she felt that they are the kind of people who would give you the shirts off their back. My boss told me that people just went out of their way to help you. However when my friend and I got there, we received a chilly reception. I know what you’re saying when you say that seeing an Irish person smile is like sunshine. I felt that. Every time someone was nice to us during our trip it was a “good day.” Every time someone in the service industry didn’t serve us with a huff, we tried to tip them. What was the difference between the people who told us how warm the people of Ireland are and ourselves? We are people of color and they are not. That said however we found pockets of what they were talking about and when we did, yep, it was JUST like sunshine.

  2. June 4, 2014 at 10:33 pm

    I’ll admit, Ireland CAN be confusing.

    Also, did your friends tell you that all you had to do to get to know the Irish was walk into a bar? Well, I’ve been here over a month, and have never gone into a bar. But I think I’ve seen Ireland.

    It takes time for the Irish to get to warm up to you. It’s not easy. It doesn’t just *happen*. There’s a reticence here that I totally wasn’t prepared for. But once I accepted that, I was fine.

    BTW, I checked out your blog. “We want adventure and disorientation” — NICE. I’ve bookmarked it.


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