Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Everyone Wants to be Irish When Traveling

A friend of Mowgli's who lives abroad sent me an e-mail about yesterday's post that goes so nicely to the heart of what I was trying to convey about Irish people that I felt compelled to post his words. (With his permission, natch.)

"...wherever I go in the world, I seem to always find an Irish pub. I've started to think it's the greatest export of Ireland. No matter how exhausted I've become with navigating the local language and culture, I can always take a seat inside a pub with Guinness or Murphy's sign above it and find a friendly and comfortable pint which is easy to order by only speaking english.

Maybe you'll have a different experience in your travels, but I really recommend that if you're ever in need of chance to just have a low effort conversation for a bit -- a conversation without needing to strain to parse out the words on the edge of your vocabulary, then set thoughts of stereotypes and cliches aside (or embrace them, whatever) and pop into the pub. Relax, order something like a Murphy's Red, and enjoy hearing and speaking some effortless *english* for an hour or so.

Then again ... I suppose an Indian restaurant might work nearly as well. :)"

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