It’s said that, despite its small size, that there are countless variations of Irish accents in Ireland. You can literally go down the road to the next neighborhood… and people will sound different. When I made the trek down south to Cork this weekend with some friends, it immediately felt like we were in an entirely different place because the Cork accent is completely different than the Dublin accent.
What you and I would pronounce as CORK, the people of Cork pronounce cahrk. On the 3 hour bus ride down south, we immediately recognized the driver to be from Cork simply because of his pronounciation of the town. For such a small country, the accent variations are many and fascinating. To me, anyway! I was excited for our little getaway because I was getting a little stir-crazy in Dublin. I had been to Cork before, but it was my first time to go with locals and that made for a different (and more fun!) experience.
Since one of my friends is from Cork, we stayed with his family in their gorgeous 19th century townhome. When I was little and used to take summer trips to Galveston with my family, I’d beg my parents to let me take tours of Moody Mansion. I must have dragged them on five tours in just as many summers. And that’s what this townhome felt like! Formal sitting rooms… a library full of antique books… I was DEFINITELY nerding out. It was one of those moments where I once again questioned how I ended up on this crazy adventure in Ireland at 22. *note: how will I survive 23? No one likes you when you’re 23. And I won’t be able to top 22. Already dreading it. TYPE A & LEFT BRAIN PROBS*
On Sunday morning, we trekked it to the neighboring island of Cobh (pronounced Cove). Fun fact: Cobh is famously known as the last port for the Titanic before she set sail in 1912. There’s a tiny museum dedicated to the Titanic, and I immediately proceeded to fangirl over this… internally, of course. I have to act cool around these people because to them, constantly being surrounded by history is just not a big deal. If only they knew that I’m constantly shrieking every time I remind myself I’m walking around buildings that are just as old (and, some, older!) than the United States.
The most interesting thing that happened the whole weekend didn’t pertain to one event, but rather to a state of mind. I was strictly surrounded by vegetarians and vegans. It was the first time that I, as a meat-eater, felt like an outsider. I FELT LIKE SUCH A DUMB KILLER. Essentially, that’s what I am (of animals, not humans, don’t worry, Mom). And, of course, no one made me feel that way… but I know better because I’m educated on food and stuff now that I live with two vegetarians in Dublin. I know that there’s no need to kill animals for food. They’re just so tasty, it’s so hard to resist. Especially in Texas. I never expected for Ireland to change me in this way- that I would leave in December even considering becoming a vegetarian. On one hand, I love animals and don’t want to contribute to harming them. On the other hand… crawfish boils are a life staple. I know my flatmates are cringing reading about how I want to become vegetarian, but probably won’t because DAMMIT CHICK-FIL-A IS JUST SO TASTY. Sorry, y’all…
Moving on to a story: Here’s something that just wouldn’t happen in America. Sunday night, we ordered a vegan cheese pizza from a local pizzeria at 7:30 pm. They said it was going to be an hour before it would arrive… and everyone saltily agreed that was okay, because they really wanted this vegan cheese pizza. The pizza place ends up calling us an hour later, trying to get out of delivering the pizza because they’re understaffed and there’s no one to bring the pizza… after much back and forth, our pizza was FINALLY delivered… at 10:30 pm. WE WAITED THREE HOURS FOR A PIZZA! And the poor pizza had apparently been through a lot, because the entire vegan cheese topping was stuck to the pizza box lid, and it was colder than frozen tater-tots. This would never happen in my country!!! And this is why it’s important to travel y’all. You don’t know bad customer service till ya get out of America. The worst American customer service is generally still wayyy better than some of the chet I’ve seen pulled in parts of Europe (shooting dagger eyes at you, snobby taco place in Madrid).
The Animal Killer Monique