Sunday, June 02, 2013

Culture Shock

At home nearly every commercial transaction ends with the clerk wishing the customer, "Have a nice day."

I admit, I've occasionally walked away from that admonishion grumbling --leave me alone-- under my breath. I've learned, however, I much prefer that to the --give me your money and get out of my face -- attitude of the Irish.

We met a woman from County Kildare who taught in Alaska her whole career, so I asked her, she being used to Americans, why the Irish seemed so rude.

She told me, in polite teacherly tones, it was a cultural difference I wasn't recognizing -- they're just blunt, or the rude person was an emigrant, not really Irish.

Now, the man who yelled at us this morning when we asked what time the shop opened, looked like he emigrated the last time the Vikings raided the coast, so I decided it was about time someone forced some common manners on the feckin' Irish.

I decided to greet everyone we met on the walk back from breakfast. "GOOD MORNING!" I said.

I startled the crap out of quite a few. Caused one man to tip his hat. 

When the bartender growled, "What'll ya have?" this afternoon, I said, "Hi, how you doing?"

"Fine, yourself?" He says.

"I'm good. Lovely weather you're having." I say.

"It won't last." Says he.

It will be an up hill battle, I can tell. Fortunately for international relations, I'm departing the island tomorrow.