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+--| Ireland |----------------------------------------------------------------+
|                                                                             |
| Whenever I travel to a new country I write a few words about it here, but   |
| it is difficult to know what to say about Ireland, since as you would       |
| imagine, it isn't that very different from the UK which I've visited and    |
| written about several times. That's not a bad thing, because I was able to  |
| indulge my Anglo-Irish-Australian food cravings (like sausage rolls, and    |
| fish and chips), and to steep myself in the atmosphere of a place much      |
| like my ancestors called home.                                              |
|                                                                             |
| It struck me again, wandering Dublin's cobbled streets, that America's      |
| cultural insecurity leads it to be a little too calculating in how it       |
| presents itself, misunderstanding that it isn't the outwards trappings of   |
| history, but the actual history that underlies them that gives them value   |
| and meaning. Thus most American cities might as well be Disneyland in       |
| their hodge-podge appropriation and agglomeration of architectural styles,  |
| and you're never sure if anything (or, frequently, anybody) is as it        |
| seems. (My thoughts may have been coloured by the fact that I was also      |
| reading Lolita at the time, in which a cultured European - and, yes,        |
| hebephile - dissects brashly barbaric America.)                             |
|                                                                             |
| But so far I haven't said anything entirely new about Ireland, as I wanted  |
| to be able to do. Indeed it wasn't really until the evening before I left,  |
| on a memorable evening out with a local, that I experienced what I had      |
| heard others say about what makes Ireland special. Following a random path  |
| that took in tea by the river and dinner at the (groan) "Czech Inn", we     |
| ended up chatting over cider and hot whiskey at a pub where an elderly DJ   |
| assembled his rig (a couple of iPads) and blasted the venue with folk       |
| music (and pop songs in the style thereof), to which an equally elderly     |
| patron leapt to his feet and danced with abandon between the tables. So     |
| this is Irish craic.                                                        |
|                                                                             |
+----------------------| posted 613 days ago via news | reply (1 comments) |--+
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