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‘Five responses we get when we say we are Irish’

Welcome to the bi monthly blog here on Boyletoday.com called ‘Next Stop Who Knows’.

The blog is written by Boyle natives Carlo Cretaro and Florence Murphy who left their homes in Boyle 7 years ago to travel the world and start an online business. They visit some weird and wonderful places and write about their experiences on their blog over at www.nextstopwhoknows.com. Specialising in web design and lead generation for local businesses, you can read more about their services at www.nextstopmarketing.com

Five Responses We Get When We Say We’re Irish

“Where are you guys from?”

 Having met thousands of people from all around the world over the past 7 years, this is a question we’ve been asked in countries as far flung as Bolivia, Rwanda, Laos and Guatemala.

 “We’re from Ireland.”

Some of the reactions we receive when we reply with this are hilarious!

In today’s post, we’re going to reveal the most common responses we get when we tell people we’re Irish. Let’s start with the most popular one…

Response #1: “You’re from Ireland? So, you’re English?”

Yes, for real. And it happens more time than you’d like to think! Our reply usually goes something like this…”Eh no. Definitely not English. We are from the REPUBLIC of Ireland!”

Response #2: “You’re Irish? So you guys love Guinness, right?”

To much of the outside world, us Irish are nothing more than crazy Guinness lovers who love the high stool (ok, they might be on to something but it’s not entirely true!).

We gave into the pressure once and drank Guinness at a Paddy’s Day charity function in Kampala, Uganda. The hangover the next day is the reason why we haven’t drank it since!

Response #3: “OMG you’re Irish? Amazing. I’m Irish too! My great great great great grandfather emigrated to the US 100 years ago from Limerick so that’s where my family is.”

We always hear this one in, ahem, America.

People love to associate themselves with our little country, and many like to dig deep into their family history until they find a little branch that attaches them to us.

Ireland is only a small country but it packs a big punch, and it’s so nice that people want to be linked to us in some way.

Response #4: “Irish? Sing! Dance! Or at least tell us a story!”

Dance? It’s always hard to break the news that we’re all not gifted with feet like Michael Flatly!

Sing? Em, Sinead O Connor and Luke Kelly set the bar too high for the rest of us!

Storytelling? That’s best left for our beloved Seanachais – Just a pity we didn’t have Christy Wynne or Gerry Mattimoe with us!

This misconception led to a very awkward night for us in the desert in Rajasthan, India. We were camping with 12 other people and they didn’t believe us that we couldn’t sing, dance, or tell a decent story.

I’m not joking when I say they HOUNDED us over the campfire for 4 hours. Finally, I gave in and did a little jig. Carlo laughed and everyone else realised that we were telling the truth!

Response #5: “I love the Irish! You guys are the friendliest people on earth.”

We’d like to whole-heartedly agree but, like every country, we have a few nettles among our roses. We’ve experienced genuineness and the most amazing welcomes from local people in countries like Thailand, Albania, and Nicaragua.

There was this one time in Albania when we met a group of elderly men playing dominos in a park. They were dressed in their Sunday best and accessorised their suits with hats, walking sticks and gold rings. Their laughter was loud and their energy infectious. They seemed to be as curious about us as we were intrigued by them.

We spent 2 hours with the men that day. They didn’t speak English and we didn’t speak Albanian. But we had such a laugh playing games and trying to converse with one another.

We just hope that we give the visitors to our little country the same welcome that we received from these men, as it’s those little interactions that leave a big impression.

Now that you know the most common replies, do you want to hear the crazy?!

“You guys are Irish? I want to go there and see a real leprechaun?” (The guy was drunk to be fair!).

How did you guys get to Vegas? Did you drive from Ireland?” (Yes, really. And there was NO alcohol involved!).

From Ireland? Where is that?! I’ve never heard of it.” (We’ve only got this once but that doesn’t make it any less painful!).

Irish? Do you know Chris O Dowd?!” (We got this from a German guy in Thailand who was obsessed with The IT Crowd. He nearly fell off his chair when we said that Chris was from our hometown and used to be Carlo’s teammate when they played GAA together!).

(Log on again on March 26th for more from ‘Next Stop Who Knows’ only on Boyletoday.com)

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