"One of the greatest things in human life is the ability to make plans. Even if they never come true - the joy of anticipation is irrevocably yours. That way one can live many more than just one life."

Maria Trapp-The Story of the Trapp Family Singers - Ch. 12 p. 4

“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.”

- St. Augustine

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Listening in on the streets

Here we are, sitting at a little bakery-café on the street this morning, waiting for some much needed clean laundry to be finished. (Side note: there seems to be no such thing as a coin-op laundry here. I started to get ready to load a machine and was quickly stopped by the shop lady who informed me, “It’s all me – just leave it.” 12 Euro later, I’ll have clean jeans and socks! ) As I watched the mostly locals going to and fro on their daily errands, I was compelled to get out my computer and note down how much I love the everyday way the Irish speak.
I came expecting to love the Irish brogue, of course. I told our dinner hosts on Sunday that all the Irish boys need do is simply show up in America, talk with that accent and they’d have the girls falling all over them! We language deprived Americans love a brogue-ish accent. I’ve discovered, though, it’s really the way of talking that captures my attention and delight. It seems as if welcome and kindness roll of their tongues to one another simply by the turns of phrase used in everyday conversation…

“Would you ever post my letter for me that I left on the desk this morning?” Would you ever – I love that!

“Ah grand, that’d be loovly

Doug (as the waiter brings dinner): Thank you
Waiter: “Ah, no bother, no bother t’all” which he then repeated about 12 times every time we uttered a “thanks.”

Amy: “Oh, sorry. Didn’t mean to…” B&B Host: “Ah, don’t worry dear, you’re grand, you’re grand.”

“Give Way” on the road sign rather than “yield”

“Are you long home?” meaning – “How long are you on vacation”

When I type it out, it looks like overstated or dramatic language, but in reality it’s just different words used to say, “that’s okay, don’t worry about it,” or, “could you.” The language just seems to go out of its way to be generous to others.
The Irish seem to have such better manners than the average American. They eat nicely, speaking nicely, give way to one another and generally seem a deferential, kind community. It’s a wonder to me how Ireland has been so politically torn for so long. Maybe I just need to work harder at making an Irishman angry?
Have a lovely morning now, won’t you dear? - Amy

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