Ireland is an incredible corner of the globe, a region that I don’t think you’d really understand unless you’ve been here and experienced it first-hand. Better still, live here for awhile like I’m doing. Get to know the people and the place. Because, once you do, you’ll learn that surprises await around every green (and greener) corner. You see, there are some things that are just so…Ireland. Things that constantly make me realize “we’re not in Kansas any more”. Things that would only happen in one place: only in Ireland.
Only in Ireland…can you be speeding down the highway and have to swerve out of your lane to avoid a tractor puttering along in the fast lane.
Only in Ireland…can you be a a rowdy pub in the wee hours of the morning and still order tea and scones.
Only in Ireland…can you live within the city limits (of the second largest city in the country, mind you) and have cows roaming the pastures behind your house.
Only in Ireland…can you tell a friend that you’d like to stay in a castle some time (referring to the numerous castles that have been converted to hotels) and have her reply, “You should just go to my cousin’s house. He has a castle in his back yard.”
Only in Ireland…can you bring your Border Collie to a dog park and not be able to spot her due to the swarms of other Border Collies running around.
Only in Ireland…is traffic regularly halted on main thoroughfares for horses or livestock in the road.
Only in Ireland…can you be outside basking in the sun and, two minutes later, have to run for cover because a storm has moved in and you are being pelted with hail stones…and, two minutes later, be back outside basking in the sun again.
Only in Ireland…can you call the name “Patrick” in a crowded room and have nearly every male in the room come to see what you need.
Only in Ireland…can you be dining in a restaurant and have a mama pig and her six little piglets accidentally wander in from a farm.
Only in Ireland…is every dish served with potatoes. Pizza delivery? Comes with a side of french fries. Thai food? Comes with mashed potatoes. Baked potato? Comes with a side of french fries and mashed potatoes.
Only in Ireland…will you find cars randomly parked in the middle of the road or the sidewalk (or both simultaneously). Why? Because it’s convenient. For them, at least.
Only in Ireland…do they say “Taim in na grá leat” instead of “I love you”. Translation: “You will forever be in my heart”.
And, only in Ireland is that phrase so true. For all of your quirkiness and your rural-ness and your untamed beauty, Ireland, you will always and forever be in my heart.