As some of you may know, my best friend from home, let's call her C, and I traveled in the company of a large family group to a bus tour of Ireland.
We've been planning this trip for... oh... six years now, drawn to it for its romantic and historical quality-- and okay, we watched P.S. I Love You, and fell in love.
What was I writing about?
Anyway, we saw great and wonderful things... monasteries, stunning mountain views... the Cliffs of Insanity (really! though they're called the Cliffs of Moher in real life)... the bridge where Gerry and Holly met in the movie....
While the museums, ancient buildings, and movie sites were grand.... and I don't mean to dismiss them, the most entertaining anecdote from the trip is as follows.... perpetuated by the big mouth of.... yep, yours truly.Here I am at the "P.S. I Love You" bridge in Wicklow... :) Obviously wagging my tail in excitement!
My friend C and I had picked up a third acquaintance, B, who was sent out with us by her mother and grandmother because we looked responsible. Ha.
I'm just kidding. We were responsible.
So the trio wandered Killarney... hoping to find handsome Irish lads to fall in love with us, serenade us, and tell us how pretty we were in the lovely Irish brogue... we had high expectations.
However, we knew that we were being silly, and set out to explore the pub scene. We wandered through a few pubs, listened to some street music, and window-shopped for a few hours, and as the sky grew darker, the amount of people jammed into one pub or another grew exponentially.
We walked into a cute "traditional" pub, and found ourselves walking a gauntlet of inebriated Irishmen and hard-faced women, bustling around each other in the tiny, smoky corridor. Looking for an escape, I located a door and headed directly for it, the girls following closely behind me.
Upon our exit, we found ourselves on a side street where a few tables had been set up, and a bunch of guys (seven, I think?) were drinking and chatting merrily, exchanging loud insults and louder laughter.
When they saw us, one called out "Hey, girls!" in this odd, fake Irish accent.
Shoot, I thought. We come all this way to Ireland and all we find is a bunch of American college students, like us, looking to get the "Irish experience".
"Where are you from?" I called.
"Baltimore," was the reply, followed by hearty laughter, mangled by drink, staged accent, and the surrounding noise.
Again with the weird accent! Two could play at that game."Oh, Baltimore, then?"
I pulled out one of my silly accents, mostly British, and tried to put an Irish twist on it. Better than theirs, though-- helped to be sober! I dropped it anyway, though.
"C'mon. I can do a better Irish accent than that. Is that really the best you've got?"
A full blast of Irish brogue from about three mouths hit me like a train, speaking so quickly that I was struggling to keep up with the meaning.
"Oh, yeh? G'head then, if y'can,"
"What's she on about?" *laughter*
A few very long seconds of comprehension passed, accompanied by a swift display of blush, then pallor.
I tossed my hair, and tried to simultaneously apologize and seem unphased and confident. Luckily for me, a few moments in, C was bumped by another passerby and crashed into one of the beers held by the young men, spilling it all over him, providing an immediate distraction.
After the cleanup and some awkward banter, we settled into introductory exchanges, conversation bolstered by the comparison of stereotypes with reality.
"You guys are Americans? You guys must be, like, omigod, like totally cool!" one guy, dark haired, said, putting on a whiny, high pitched affectation.
"We do NOT sound like that," I said, annoyed.
"Oh, yes, y'do," he quickly answered. I opened my mouth to argue but he cut me off. "But that's okay. To you we sound like... what, leprechauns? Di-dee-di-dee-di-dee-di all the time," he grinned good-naturedly, dancing a little jig. I couldn't help but smile.
As we all continued to chat, both C and I noticed that they seemed to be advertising their friend, let's call him J.
"Oh, J's sooooo tall. And good at football. Doesn't he have good posture? He has the best posture of any you've seen, hasn't he?" etc. etc.... escalating to.. "You should give him a kiss. You?" he pointed at C. "You?" He pointed at me. We laughed and demurred, shaking our heads. "Oh, c'mon!!!" they cajoled.
Let's be honest. One or both of us should have said yes. He was SO GOOD LOOKING. Oh well. Moral decency and all that. Drat.
J and C spent time chatting, and there was definitely a spark. B was talking to another, and I talked with the group of guys about the upcoming football match. As the group got excited about Ireland playing in the match, they began singing.
No joke. Irish guys. They sing.
By sing, I mean they jumped up on the outdoor tables, pounded on chairs, and gesticulated emphatically as they sang football anthems to familiar pop tunes...
Let it Be: "Robbie Kaaaayyyy (Keane), Robbie K, Robbie K, Robbie K!
We don't care, we love him, Robbie Kaaayyyyyyy."
Some of the other ones were more tasteful... "I'll love him (some football player) all my life... he's the best yada yada... I'd let him shag my wife!"
Yikes. Maybe I won't marry an Irishman.
Anyway, after being serenaded for the better part of an hour, an hour and a half, during which we were brought purchased drinks (YES! Goal of cute Irish guy(s) buying me a drink? Check.), we parted ways, declining the offer to join them at the night club.
I wish I had taken pictures... but this was a wonderful, colorful evening... where we COULD have kissed young cute Irishmen... if we wanted to...
I mean, dang. We should have. That would make such a better blog post.