BRAD     |     EMILLIE

Sunday, March 14, 2010

St. Patrick's Day warm up

I thought that this week I'd be blogging about the fantastic time that we had at the St. Patrick's Day festival in Dublin yesterday. While we did go to the festival, we soon realized that it was basically 100% for tourists, and lacked any Irish interest or authenticity. On Wednesday, Maynooth will be having a celebration which we will be attending with our friends (who are actually Irish).

So we took Nikolai to the playground instead, checked out the TK Maxx (the Irish equivalent of Winners) and did our usual shop at the food co-op. But in honour of our St. Patrick's day venture, I have decided to blog about interesting or quirky things we have learned while in Ireland.

-"And the like" (i.e. Tescos' carries fruit, veg and the like. This expression is used at least once in every conversation, basically towards the end of the conversation to signal that you've finished talking about that topic.)
-"Yo'man" as in "Buddy" (i.e. I was at the pub with yo'man there. This is only used by males talking to males. Apparently the Canadian equivalent is Buddy, but being female I don't really use that term.)
-"isn't he bold" is used to refer to children who are being really badly behaved.
-"how long you here for?" means "how long have you been here?" (Took us a few weeks of confusing conversations before we figured that one out. Questions are generally asked and answered in a manner that we found confusing. Basically the answer to a question is assumed to be yes, unless specifically stated otherwise.).

General life:
-The Irish are BIG meat eaters... but despite being a coastal nation, fish are not really a traditional food, and the local stocks haven't been over-fished in recent history (like in Canada).

-It is OBLIGATORY to offer tea whenever anyone comes over (and tea means black tea only, I get a raised eyebrow if I turn it down... even if it's being offered at night!)

-If you don't have exact change on the bus you can get a receipt with the difference on it. You can take that receipt and get your change back at an office downtown.

-The Irish don't use measuring spoons. We haven't been able to find, nor buy measuring spoons yet (well, we did find them, but they were more € than we were willing to pay).

-In general, the culture feels way more "Canadian" and familiar than the British culture. Everyone is very friendly, helpful and nice.

-I think the reason why there are no secondhand stores here is that everything is passed along for free. We have been the recipients of a lot of toys, two full garbage bags of clothes for Nikolai, a bike for me, 3 bags of manure (for our garden), and a pile of wood (twice second-handed) to build a chicken coop.

-Backyard chickens are very popular here... so most likely we will get a few of our own. I'm feeling very settled in my Jane Austin-esque pastoral life.

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