Top Bants in Ireland
It's Lindsey back again with another blog! I’ve had trouble deciding what exactly to talk about in my second post because there is just so much I have been wanting to tell y’all and I can’t just pick one. This dilemma has left me with a few different topics I’m going to be sharing with you today. I’ll mostly be keeping it to just some fun Irish culture differences, though I’ll also be giving you a little update on my life, sorry I just can’t resist. Ladies, gentleman and fellow wanderers grab your popcorn it’s time for another one of my Irish blogs.
One word: Hurling. It’s all about hurling here in south Galway, I don’t think I go a day without hearing the word ‘hurling’. Now I’m not complaining I’ve had the chance to go to a hurling match and it is truly an incredible sport. So, forget American football it's hurling, and only hurling. I actually had never heard of the fastest land sport before coming to Ireland, but I have to say it again once you’re here you can never escape it, no I’m serious it’s not possible. It might also have to do with the fact that Galway won the All-Ireland match that I see a maroon Galway flag representing the team literally everywhere I look. If your counties team wins they make a huge victory tour out of it, going to all the schools and towns. So, when Gort Community School had the privilege of hosting both the senior and minor champions it was a pretty big deal, also with the fact that a lot of the players had gone to the school and a couple of the minors are current students. I even got to miss double biology, but why couldn’t it have been DCG. So, Galway hurling team next time you go off and win some fancy trophies, think of me, an American girl who is constantly struggling with drawing shapes.
I’m sure you’ve all heard of the stereotypes foreigners have of Americans that we are all oblivious to the world, for instance, we all suck at geography, right? Well, Irish people should have counted themselves in that very statement, because let me tell you I’ve had countless people respond to me telling them I’m from Tennessee with, “That’s in Texas, right?” I actually enjoy hearing peoples’ thoughts and stereotypes on my home country, its good craic and I would happily hear more. People rarely ask me or say anything about the US, they only ever slag me on my accent. Now don’t get me wrong everyone is interested in my culture but it hardly comes up anymore. Half the time I forget that I haven’t always been here.
Since I’ve last written a blog so many more people have come up and talked to me, in fact, I’m pretty sure the whole school knew my birthday was on September 27th, people I swear I have never even seen before were wishing me happy birthday. I have never really been treated as an exchange student. It may be because I am so outgoing or in other words a loud American that the Irish have no trouble talking to me, or finding something to say because I’ll just do it for them. I’m not sure if everyone is aware that I am an exchange student. Most of the foreign students would come to Ireland to learn English, and I’m in the top English class so it doesn’t quite fit. Recently I have found out that my host sister and I are cousins, or at least that’s what some of the lads at my school have assumed, but Hazel is pretty sound so its grand.
The first thing that really confused me in Ireland was how the Irish tell time. No one says 4:30, but instead, it’s half four. Now to me, I thought this either meant 3:30 or 2, I kept messing up on the time for a while after I arrived. Also, everyone is late, all the time. Now this doesn’t bother me so much because it's more relaxed, but it can really get annoying when your bus was supposed to leave 20 minutes ago but it hasn’t even shown up. Irish time works around the relative time set, it’s never exact in any circumstance. For instance, one of my teachers is always late, so my class is just out in the hall for 5 minutes after the last bell.
At my school in Chattanooga we use our laptops to do all our work on, where here it’s all on paper, all of it. It’s also all in pen witch in the US if we ever to write out our work it would be in pencil, number two to be exact. Here my maths teacher actually said we weren’t allowed to use pencil, he literally banned us. Also in English, my teacher insisted that I start to use pen after I turned in my first few assignments written in pencil. I know what you're all thinking well how do you erase a pen marking, as I am someone who would accidentally write the wrong letter or number down and have to erase it quite often, well you tip-ex it my friends, cross it out and layer it with white-out or tip-ex as they say in Ireland. Though it took some getting used to, I now prefer to write in pen and have already gone through about four. Please forgive me I almost forgot it is a biro, not a pen. On the first day of school in biology, my teacher told us to get out our biros and have not heard this term I thought he meant my agenda.
As ye may have noticed I now include Irish slang in my vocabulary. In all seriousness, the Irish have amazing words and phrases for things, and it all just works. Now some of it doesn’t make any sense, and others I have literally just learned, for example, yesterday in biology a boy asked if I had a topper, some not knowing what on earth that was just said no. After turning to my friend and asking him what a topper was I learned that I did have one, it’s a pencil sharpener. But for the majority, the Irish sure did know what they were doing coming up with their slang. Its top bants including these phrases or words in my everyday use, and I now don’t even think about it when I respond with “grand”. I’ll now include some of my favorite irish slang:
- THE BOYS, popular boys, the jokes/tough boys
- Angry at/complaining about/yelling at
- Making fun/picking on
How she cutting
- How are you
What’s the craic
- What’s up
- The best sport in the world
The American and her flag
another Saturday in Ennis
The Flaggy Shore. I was inspired to take the 'drive out west' by my personal friend Seamus Heaney, from reading his poem Postscript in English. I recommend y'all read some of his poems especially Postscript as it as an amazing use of imagery to put across a great message.
also the Flaggy Shore
Thank y'all for reading another one of my Irish blogs, don't forget to tune in next time!