A quick capsule review of the Irish and Ireland.
They compulsively walk into you on the street. They tend to drink to excess. Her tradesmen are perversely incompetent. Travelling distances in the country seems to take twice as long as in other countries. Her people do mad u-turns in the middle of the road. They run red lights habitually. They seem to have no sense of town planning or efficiency. Her lawyers and doctors make a suspicious amount of money. Her publicans are often millionaires. Her real estate prices have made many petty and greedy. They are intensely friendly and amenable on the surface but some freely stab your back and don’t meet promises. They commonly have a great sense of humour. They love expensive car brands, and renewing them often. Yet many live in near-abject poverty. Her public transport system (slogan: ‘Getting There’) is sometimes deplorable, and her excuses for it manifold. They have a funny relationship with celebrities - though no more so than other countries where retail and celebrity are the twin bastions of popular culture. They are willing devotees of British television. There’s a residual sense of racism or xenophobia. You will not get decent or even average service in most pubs, restaurants, cafés, shops and stores. There’s also a residual sense of corruption in the air, from politics to the clergy to the Garda on down. They are great talkers, and with a little bit of dial-cranking you’ll manage to find excellent and expressive talkback radio. That said, most of the radio is shite. They tend to typify or identify each other by their accents. They can spot fine differences in English accents. They spend most of their social life in pubs. They are absolutely, unashamedly in love with mobile phone technology, but often can’t be arsed returning calls. They have a strong folk-music sensibility. They are good catholics without being superstitious. Her bureaucracy is a distinct new strain of officious. Her secret to success is knowing people. Her national emblem could well be the Ostrich, for denying there might be any problems. Her beers are delicious but vary in taste from tap to tap. Her ingenious system of buying rounds could cripple your liver and
your wallet. Her pubs are always warm and comfortable.