Further random observations

  1. The other day I was riding the bus into town and noticed the bus driver was listening to a radio broadcast with a woman speaking in a calm, soothing voice.  As I approached the front of the bus to get off at my stop, I realized that it was an obituary report!  She was naming the dead person, the time and date of their service, and the charities or families to whom one could send condolences.  Morbid!
  2. I was chatting with my new volunteer mate at the till in the Oxfam shop last week when I asked her what the difference is between cookies and biscuits.  She told me that only chocolate chips in the treat make it a cookie, otherwise it is a biscuit.  I went to the grocery store and confirmed it for myself.  Only the cookies with chocolate chips were labelled as “cookies”!
  3. Somehow I got on the subject of hoarding with my student Maire at the computer class the other day.  We talked about how she finds it very difficult to throw out things that even she has a problem justifying keeping around.  She told me she thinks that hoarding is in the DNA of Irish people.  After all the many decades of poverty and privations, a lot of Irish people find it tough to throw things out.  She said it’s the “7 Year Rule.”  An Irish person must keep something for seven years before it’s okay to let it go.  This leads me to believe that my darling mother-in-law is much more Irish than even she realizes.
  4. Google “uniquely Irish” in the images search and these photos come up in the first 12 choices:
Father Ted

Father Ted


Claddagh ring


Irish stile


That whitewashed thatched cottage that every American thinks is where every Irish person lives

— Cindy


15 responses to “Further random observations

  1. I like the 7 Year Rule. It makes sense about people hoarding. I understand items, I don’t understand trash. Hey, if you see a nice silver Claddagh ring, size 7, send it my way. I have been wanting one 🙂

  2. I listen to the obituary report every evening at 5pm on the bus back home FULL BLAST!! I know the bus driver is elderly but he definitely is deaf… 😦

  3. Hey 🙂
    I’ve been living in Galway for a few months now with my partner. (I lived here in the summer of 2010 as well and fell in love with the cultural community)
    I stumbled upon your blog while searching for “Thanksgiving in Galway” options. Very disappointed to not find anything. I LOVE Thanksgiving; I was raised on a farm in the South, so TG is when I make all of my grandmother’s traditional Southern dishes.
    Bummed :-/

  4. Hey 🙂
    I’ve been living in Galway for a few months now with my partner. (I lived here in the summer of 2010 as well and fell in love with the cultural community)
    I stumbled upon your blog while searching for “Thanksgiving in Galway” options. Very disappointed to not find anything.
    I LOVE Thanksgiving; I was raised on a farm in the South, so TG is when I make all of my grandmother’s traditional Southern dishes.
    Bummed :-/

    • Hey Casey,
      Sorry the blog didn’t meet your expectations, guy! We don’t really celebrate Thanksgiving since no one else here does. 🙂
      However this year we have received an invite to a party thrown by some American friends. If we go to the party, we’ll be sure to report back to the blog. Stay tuned!
      – Cindy

      • Hi Cindy, oh gosh, I didn’t realise until I got your response that the phrasing in my original post was misleading. I love your blog and am very glad I found it!
        I meant to say I am disappointed to not find any cool Thanksgiving happenings around town.
        I guess I could just do a tiny turkey and some fixins for me and my boyfriend.
        Something about a 2 person TG seems so sad.
        Lol. Cadillac problems, as my granddaddy would say.

  5. No worries, I sort of misinterpreted and thought you were disappointed we didn’t do anything for T-Day. First couple of years I didn’t miss it at all but now I wish there was such a thing here if only to put a separation between Halloween and Christmas! I hate going full-on xmas spirit so soon after candy day. Uhm… The Quays pub does a pretty decent turkey main meal that’s almost as good as Thanksgiving Day dinner… And you can get canned pumpkin at Candyland (candyland.ie) for the pie.
    Glad you enjoy the blog.
    – Cindy

    • Hey Cindy,
      I’ve been surprised by how difficult it is to find “American” products here. My mother actually mailed me a huge package of grits (I can’t help but giggle at what the customs officials must have thought of that). She also sent some good BBQ sauce. Yum!
      Even a good cut of pork seems hard to come by here. In the states I usually use a Boston Butt to put in the slow cooker overnight for pulled pork. But so far it has seemed impossible to get here. I even went down to the pork butchers behind Easons and talked to James, the butcher. He was very helpful in trying to get me sorted with a comparable cut of meat. So far no pork cuts are bone in.
      Last night I went with a pork belly in the oven but the final product was a confusing mess. Thank God my bf is not too picky. 🙂
      ~ Casey

      • Like I said, Candyland. They have a shop on Upper Abbeygate St, across from Sally Long’s. Vinny, the proprietor is a good guy. If you mention Cindy he might even be nice to you. Or an ass – we have an Irish kind of relationship now, you know the one, where everyone slags off their friends. The closest we can get to real donuts is the Dragons & Donuts shop in the Bridge Mills.
        My hubby is vegetarian so I don’t do a whole lot of meat meals anymore. Can’t be much help about butchers. I like that pork butcher across from St. Nicholas church, and Colleran’s around the corner from there. Sorry about the pork disaster!
        Funny, the Irish love Americans but not American products. Go figure. 🙂

  6. Hey Cindy,
    Yeah, I’ve noticed that American products are not quite embraced here. Strangely except for some clothing brands such as Hollister, or “NYC” imprinted on anything. Lol.
    As for Irish slagging, I’m of Irish descent; sarcasm’s in my DNA. Still getting used to using the phrase “taking the piss.” It’s a tough adjustment. As well as the whole “craic” thing which still instinctively makes me think of Chris Rock in New Jack City, or Toronto’s mayor depending on my brain’s seemingly uncontrollable daily trajectories.
    Anyway, to make the adjustment period even more fun I was diagnosed with Celiacs last week. Grrr… I’ll probably pass by you and your hubby in the veg aisle as I wander around aimlessly trying to find suitable sustenance. Pretty sure my previous diet of guacamole, queso and Krispy Kremes are off the menu. :-/

    • Hey Casey –
      So how long have you been in Galway? I know you said for a bit in 2010 but how long since your latest arrival?
      When people ask me what I miss most about America I say “My kids, Mexican food, and fireworks, in that order.” 🙂 It’s easy to get used to doing without good ramen (the kind that doesn’t burn your guts out) and that sort of thing. I do, however, regularly request shipments of good sponges from the family. I hate the wimpy ass sponges here, they don’t absorb a damn thing but they do real well at pushing the dirt around and coating the entire surface you’re trying to clean in yukky stuff.
      We learned all the phrases from UK & Irish comedy television programs. I find that I take crap from people who know I’m American if I use an Irish-ism because they don’t expect me to know those things. And I’m all the time answering the ‘so how long are you staying’ question! I once had a woman (now a dear friend) tell me that I “talk like the telly.”
      Sorry to hear about your diagnosis. Do you shop the Saturday market at St. Nicholas? Lots of good fresh foods there, very affordable. We get our breads from a woman named Leyla at Coolfin Organic, she’s in a stall near the fish stand. Good spelt bread. Fortunately there are a lot more gluten-free choices than one would think. Plus the Evergreen health food store has some good stuff. It’s tough to be dietarily choosy but you can get used to it.
      No worries about the Krispy Kremes, I’m sure there isn’t one within 1000 miles of here. Ha!
      – Cindy

      • Hey Cindy – Happy Christmas Market kickoff day!!!
        (I’m actually at home snuggled up with my boyfriend, avoiding the rain and crowds, but we can hear the music from our house)

        I moved here in late August. My first visit in 2009 was brief following a summer living in Morocco learning Arabic, (of which I speak none, inshallah) but then i met my wonderful boyfriend here :). I stayed in Dublin for a bit initially but did not enjoy the community as much as I do in Galway. I came back to Galway for Xmas, Dec 2009, when it snowed and the streets were covered in ice. Holy hell, I fell so many times! The longest i’ve ever lived here was 6 months in 2010.

        As for Dublin: to me, and please forgive my limited experience, but travelling to Ireland and spending all of your time in Dublin thinking you’ve truly experienced Irish culture is akin to the poor souls who travel to Florida and stay in Orlando the whole time. Florida’s where I’m from and they completely miss it. Orlando’s a transient community, similar to Dublin, with very little representation of actual Floridian culture: Florida Crackers, Cross Creek, Natural Springs, the Everglades, St. Augustine, etc. There is so much to discover in both places that don’t involve plastic mouse ears or Temple Bar/Guinness t-shirts.

        But I kinda have a fundamental distaste for popular tourist destinations, prepackaged experiences, all of that. I like to wander. No timeframe, no plan, just go… 🙂

        Of course now that I have a team of Oncologists/Hematologists monitoring my every move, it has put the kibosh on my wanderlust.
        I do not have cancer. I do have a genetic blood clotting disorder which requires a LOT of careful monitoring, daily abdominal injections during travel, a lifetime of blood thinners, medical alert bracelet and a team of doctors wherever I go. The very first thing I did upon landing here was check in at the hospital. It’s challenging. (That’s why when they said Celiacs, i kinda just laughed. At this point Celiacs is a breeze.)

        I’m 36 and just 4 short years ago i had zero medical issues and took no medication. Now my boyfriend calls me the walking hospital! 🙂 Lol. In the 10 weeks i’ve been here, I have been admitted to Galway University Hospital 3 times, the first time was on my third day here while vomiting blood. They kept me for a week. This last time was only 4 days, thank God. I got out on Monday actually. So happy to be home 🙂

        I was in the St. Teresa ward, and it’s full of elderly ladies, and they were so kind and sweet, as were the nurses. On Sunday evening, after the lights went out, the elderly ladies all began praying together out loud but quite softly, first in English, then Irish. Then they began to sing an old Irish song that was so beautiful. I felt privileged for the experience.

        Gosh, I’m glad your blog is called “ramblings” because i have certainly been prattling on for a bit. I’m always excited to meet new people. Thanks for the leads on the Saturday market and product ideas.


      • Hey, I sent a friend request on Facebook. Maybe we can continue communications there?

        PS: I despise the Christmas Market, and all the traffic congestion and noise that goes with it. All it does is impede my ability to make my connecting bus on Mondays when I got out to my MS exercise class! Bah humbug. 😀

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