I met my friend Soibhán in Dublin nearly two years ago. We were both in the audience at the filming of an Irish RTE TV music special. You wouldn’t even believe the story of how I ended up there. It’s crazy even for AGMA. Let’s just say I was with my then 79-year-old going on teeny bopper MIL who had stars in her eyes. ‘Nuff said…
Soibhán isn’t her real name. I’m protecting the innocent. And I love the name Soibhán. It doesn’t sound anything like it looks in “Ahmurican speak” and it has one of those charming fada marks in it. I love those.
We became fast friends through Facebook. Okay – so I guess FB is good for something other than expressing idiotic, ill-informed political opinions that nobody give’s a rat’s ass about. Oh – did I say that out loud?
Soibhán & I got together again when I was in Ireland last October and shared a couple of pints of Guinness one evening in Killarney. Well, I drank the Guinness, she drank tea.
Yes…I managed to make friends with one of the 29 people in Ireland who don’t drink alcohol. I had no idea there were so many.
So one thing lead to another and I found myself headed to County Waterford a little over two weeks ago to stay with her and her family for six days.
A couple of days into the visit, Soibhán asked me if I or my husband had any misgivings about me staying with them since they were basically strangers. I laughed. The real question should have been if she had any misgivings letting AGMA staying with her. She should have…
After reading my blog, wouldn’t you?
I learned a lot about the Irish way of life and some of the funny differences between us. Like they are just plain weird about some stuff… And I’m perfectly normal. Right.
So in no particular order (although the first five do seem to have jelly/jam theme happening…)
- If you’re having eggs and toast for breakfast, you can put butter on your toast. And orange marmalade. But not jelly. But call it jam because jelly = Jello in Ireland. They think you’re crazy if you put jam on your toast. They get funny looks on their faces if you take a bite of egg and then a bite of your jammy toast. Like they’re going to get sick
- It’s okay to have jam on a scone you’re eating in parallel with your eggs. But they’ll also expect you to eat toast with butter with your eggs. Scones evidently aren’t counted as a carb. And a jammy scone must not be eaten with eggs. It’s as if they believe that jam and eggs are a volatile combination in the gut that could possibly trigger a chain of dire events in your body leading to an early death or worse. Like eating to much pork and beans.
- Soibhán’s six-year-old son asked for jelly and ice cream. I thought that was a very odd combination until she explained to me that they refer to Jello as jelly. Ummm… Jello and ice cream. That sounds much better. Not.
- I got the “I think I’m going to get sick” look again when I explained that a staple of almost every American child’s diet was the classic peanut butter and jelly (NOT Jello) sandwich. What?? My jaw dropped in disbelief trying to comprehend a childhood without PBJ’s. Clearly there are very, very strict rules about the use of jam in Ireland.
- They don’t eat chicken noodle soup. Or chicken & rice soup. Oh the humanity! I was going to mention a that a PBJ and a bowl of chicken noodle soup is one of the ultimate comfort meals in the US, but I honestly wasn’t sure I’d be welcome in their home any longer if I did. That might have put them over the edge.
To be continued…