Yikes!! The halfway point. I know exactly where the time has gone, and yet am amazed that the year has passed so quickly. But hopefully the rest of the year will grant us 36 hours a day, although that too may not be enough.
Anyway, that’s not important. What is important is the introduction. I guess the best place to start would be the introduction, as introductions are usually in the beginning of whatever you are trying to introduce. I offer the introduction at the beginning as opposed to the conclusion, for if I started with the conclusion than I would have to begin to conclude how I would introduce the end.
Wait. Now I’m confused.
Anyway the confusion is not important either. What is important, so very important, so extremely very important, is that I finally feel at home in Ireland.
I feel, and I do not make this statement lightly, Irish.
I feel Irish because I have begun to master the ‘ironic speak’ that I have come to cherish so dearly.
I feel Irish because I can walk around Dublin without a map (ok…without a map about 90% of the time).
I feel Irish because the rain no longer bothers me – rather I cherish in the greenery it brings. I have become a disciple of the rain, and it is teaching me the ways of finding brightness on the inside, if sunshine cannot be found on the outside.
I feel Irish because I know where to buy vegetables (anywhere but the Spar).
I feel Irish because the spicy chicken roll on campus has become one of my favorite meals, and I can appreciate the application of both butter and mayonnaise to the same dish.
I feel Irish because I also add brown sauce.
I feel Irish because it’s no longer about the Benjamins, it’s about the Rococo.
I feel Irish because I am a better writer and reader.
I feel Irish because I am a better listener.
I feel Irish because I scream at the television when Ireland plays France, Real Madrid contests Manchester United, Arsenic burns Old Lace, East Timor jumps Nepal, Antarctica lays the smack down on the North Pole.
I feel Irish because ALL these games matter to me.
I feel Irish because I can’t watch US college basketball.
I feel Irish because I can see the irony in an Indian learning Yoga in Ireland.
I feel Irish because the Irish are like the Irish are like the Irish.
I feel Irish because I could live here the rest of my life.
I feel Irish because I no longer say, “Excuse me, is this is the line for the subs?”. Rather I say, “Sorry, is this the queue for the baguettes?”
I feel Irish because I know many strange facts about the country, like the fact that while there are only paltry millions of real Irish on the island, there are actually 70 million people worldwide who claim Irish descent, and 42 million of those people live in America (and approximately 41.9999999 million of those people live in Boston and are Boston Red Sox and Patriots fans).
I feel Irish because the other .0000001 million live in England. By accident.
I feel Irish because I take the DART.
I feel Irish because I believe that the best band in the world is U2, that rap is fantastic dance music, that country isn’t music, it’s a location.
I feel Irish because Bushmills is the best whiskey in the whole world.
I feel Irish because Jameson’s is better.
I feel Irish because I can navigate the Dublin Bus system like a pro. I haven’t gotten lost or taken the wrong bus in two months, and this phenomenon occurs even when traveling to destinations I have never been to. I am the master of the Dublin Bus system – it no longer bests me.
I feel Irish because I know the truth about the Viking Tour.
I feel Irish because I appreciate the fruits of globalization.
I feel Irish because I cherish the simple atmosphere of the local pub.
I feel Irish because I went to The Abbey in Limerick and was able to joke with the monks. They told me that Guinness was the best ‘liquor’ Ireland had to offer, and they let me flip through a great number of old books that I would never get to touch in American Museums. They showed me a great forest made of trees imported from the good old USA, including some redwoods that would put Northern California to shame. They showed me that religion isn’t just hysteria to sooth the masses – it’s a quest to find something better for practitioners. Religion is just another avenue to answer the question.
I feel Irish because I finally know what the question is.
I feel Irish because a monk told me he had visited India and felt that Hinduism was one of the world’s most beautiful religions.
I feel Irish because I believe that politics is an avenue to do good, that good politicians do exist, that good people can do good works in a good government, as long as they are supported by a good people with good intentions and beliefs.
I feel Irish because I too struggle with the discontinuity between my religious beliefs and my social beliefs. I want to be a good practitioner of my religion – I want to be a good member of society.
I feel Irish because I value my time more than my money. I want to work hard, but so that I may relax now, instead of some future potential date.
I feel Irish because like many 23 yr-olds here, I have no idea what to do with my life.
I feel Irish because I believe this confusion is ok.
I feel Irish because I no longer ask for a beer. I ask for a pint.
I feel Irish because American football is the weak version of Rugby.
I feel Irish because I know what Hurling is.
I feel Irish because I now believe when the going gets tough, you gotta get tough.
I feel Irish because I now believe that love knows no bounds.
I feel Irish because the Troubles matter to me more than ever. I can appreciate the struggle, try to understand the complexity, bask in the high emotions on both sides, and cringe at the insensitivity of the other sides’ comments.
I feel Irish because as much as I appreciate the new beautiful things, I still cherish the old things. The world is changing at an extremely fast pace, but not fast enough that I don’t have time to stop and relax.
I feel Irish because it’s not about education – it’s about acquiring knowledge.
I feel Irish because I know you don’t smoke craic.
I feel Irish because I’ll now walk the extra mile to save the extra penny, but I’ll splurge on friends and family.
I feel Irish because I work smarter, not harder.
I feel Irish because I saw the movie ‘Team America’ and found it was what I loved and hated about America at the same time.
I feel Irish, because after returning from Morocco, and passing through exams (hopefully, anyway), I took a quick jaunt back to the States. In 2.5 weeks, I visited – NYC, Kentucky, NYC, Duke (down in NC), and NYC again. But I missed Ireland dearly, and found my return fueled by a new vigor to take advantage of this fabulous opportunity. I want to leave Ireland with no regrets.
I feel Irish because this is an impossible goal.