Thursday, April 28, 2011

Thought on Ireland

I just returned home from a wonderful trip to Ireland.  It was my first visit and fulfilled a life long dream.  Even so I was unprepared for how much the country appealed to me.   It really got under my skin.   It was like it fit my DNA.  From the culture to the landscape it felt very homey.  I've heard other people express similar emotions after visiting their ancestral countries.  I wonder if there's something beyond the psychological involved?  Were my eyes really tuned by evolution to prefer the light and the colors of the landscape of that country?

Other thoughts:

The food is great.   The smoked Salmon is fantastic and the rustic brown breads hearty and delicious but even more so there's an pervasive attention to providing quality ingredients.  Even in humble pubs there were always nice greens provided with a meal.  I never saw the equivalent of the shitty Iceberg lettuce salad with hothouse tomatoes that we still see here.  I honestly never had a bad meal. 

Driving on the left side of the road is scarey as all get-go - till it's not.  The first 30 minute trip from the car rental place to our hotel was the by far the scariest time I've ever spent in a car.  I really wasn't sure we were going to make it.  How people can be allowed to just hop in a car and be expected to adapt seems absurdly dangerous.  They really should have some driving simulators or some other training tool available at the car rental place.

The place really is very green and nearly every house has either sheep or cows in their yard.   It seems like everyone outside of the major cities is involved in the production of food in some way or another.  You can see people towing tiny stainless steel milk vats behind their little cars - I assume to make a delivery to some larger processing plant.  It really makes me think my large lawn is a major waste of space.

Guinness really does taste better there.  If pressed I'd say it's just a tad creamier and a tad less bitter but the difference is so subtle I think it could all be in my head.     

I really can't wait to go back.
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