Friday, March 16, 2012

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Well, it's that time of year again. The one day a year when all things green doesn't refer to environmentally friendly. Even though you don't need to be Irish to celebrate, I'm always envious of those who are, whether they're Irish American or actual Irish born. This is their day. They can celebrate with reckless abandon - the rest of us be damned.

It's funny how in America a lot of people assume those with ginger (red) hair are Irish. I've been to Ireland. Not a single one has hair that color, at least not naturally. In fact, the real Irish people are mostly brunettes.

Ireland isn't called the Emerald Isle for nothing. It's green because it rains there a lot. I think it rained every single day I was there (18 yrs ago), but it didn't rain all day every day. In fact, I even remember the sun coming out sometimes.

Still, it's a beautiful, peaceful country, and you won't find friendlier people anywhere. My pen pal, whom I met when I visited, is one of such people, as were his parents who were surprised and proud of me (I think) that I was traveling alone (24 and just out of college). Even though the signs were in English and Gaelic, it wasn't too difficult to find your way around. Plus, I had everything planned out well in advance, so I was leaving very little to chance.

Besides meeting my pen pal and going out with him, a few other memories come to mind - like seeing the cottage where J. Bruce Ismay (the owner of the Titanic) supposedly lived out his last days; having the best meatloaf dinner in a pub with boiled potatoes and carrots. I was so cold and hungry that it really hit the spot. Too bad Ireland lost their World Cup match that evening. I remember spending several days in Connemara. As it was kind of wet and cold, I wasn't very motivated to do much, so spent most of my time hanging out at the youth hostel with the other 'yanks,' including one who had gotten a job there apparently. I met a lot of nice travelers including a nice Australian girl (who was bumming around for about 9 mos I think) and a trio of German girls who followed me from town to town. Not so sure it was friendship as much as a translator they were looking for.

Back to 2012...

Tonight while listening to the Pogues, I made Guiness bread using a dry packet mixture purchased at World Market. I wore a green shirt today and may or may not wear it again tomorrow. Not planning on going downtown for the parade. I'm not much for crowds and parades that may or may not be lame (like most of the small town ones I've attended). I'm also getting my hair colored tomorrow, but think I'll stick with my traditional brown and skip the green streaks.

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