I got a lot of comments about my “negativity” over things here in Ireland. I suppose that my post, coming as it did, seemed to have a rather poor outlook, and unfortunately gave a wrong impression of my experiences here. I promised to write about what I love about Ireland, which I noted is a lot longer list.
First though, a note about my peeves: though I do find them annoying, they are no different than what I find in the States. As someone aptly pointed out, if I did eventually move here, things would even out and I would find prices more equitable. Additionally, being a tourist, I am subject to a lot of charges natives are not. Be that as it may, I still don’t truck with charging for bathroom usage, no matter where you are.
Ireland is the kindest place I have ever been. Talk about friendly. These people will go out of their way to help you. In a jam? Just ask someone on the street, or if you’re worried about appearances, check someone at a gas station or cafe. They love to talk, they’re happy to give help with directions or advice, and they don’t mind a bit! They’re also forgiving as well. I accidentally forgot to bring all my money to a cafe, and upon this discovery, the nice lady said, “I trust you’ll come back” and that was that.
The country is, well it is rainy and cold here. If you know me, you also know that’s my type of weather. It gets to you sometimes, if you let it, but for me, it’s only contributed to the atmosphere. It just feels Irish, you know? And sometimes it makes or breaks a location. Doolin wouldn’t have been Doolin without the constant wind, rain every ten minutes, and the horrible ocean waves crashing in. Kinsale wouldn’t be Kinsale without its warm and sunny atmosphere. I could go on, but you get me. Ireland’s weather and warmth is part of its charm.
The Euro: Since my last post on this subject, I confess to have gotten quite used to it. I no longer stumble over giving money to people for various charges. It all seems natural. The discovery I made was this: they only have three extra coins, so in that regard it’s no different than the US money system. All the bills seem to be the same. What’s bad is when you remember the exchange rate. My buoyancy over the currency tends to dip when I remember that a ?24 (pretend that’s a Euro symbol) dinner is actually about $32 in American. No biggie.
Media influence here is dominated by radio. Coming from the states, this seems a little strange. But think about it. The majority of people here are not exactly super-rich. They have houses and cars, usually, and appliances include a fridge, oven (usually gas), and a radio. No tv. I have only seen three tv’s since coming in country. Amazing. Ireland has rekindled my love of radio, and not just any radio. I’m talking radio that really has cool stuff on it, not like in the states. I was listening to RT One, one of the biggest stations here, and the program was all about movie and music reviews. What they do, is they have two or three people sit in studio, and usually they’ll have someone on the phone as well, and they’ll play the song, and then talk about it. It’s not like your top 40′s station in the states. The film reviewers were cool too, since they would play snippets from the movie, then give their thoughts on it. Great stuff.
The food here, while slightly expensive, has tended to be good. I’ve only eaten at one place that I didn’t like the food, but that was in Doolin, and it was one of two restaurants in town (the market had closed, or I would have bought my own food to cook). I have managed to live fairly simply here, mostly by buying food from small groceries, which is far cheaper. I can eat for two days on what I would normally pay for one large meal at a restaurant. Not bad at all.
Another thing I like is the varied places here. In this small island nation, the extremes are incredible. I rode the bus in from Galway to Doolin, and the entire trip was grey and rainy. I got to Doolin, and it was, as usual, very windy (so much so I was crying by the end of my trek back to my car from the bus station), and very cold. By the time I drove in to Killarney, it was sunny, balmy, and just slightly breezy. I think it’s about a 40 or 50 kilometer distance between.
My internet time is up, unfortunately. Being stranded on the Aran Isles for three days screwed up my writing schedule, since I have been unable to use my laptop for any of these posts (I have been getting some great research notes in, though, and I’ve started on my second sreenplay!). I suppose that I’ll get back to my writing my adventures for you when I get the chance. Until then…