Weird List: Ireland

Those who’ve followed my blog or traveled with me know that I keep track of a Weird List. Anything that makes me tilt my head, raise a brow or literally exclaim, “Well that was weird,” counts.

In no particular order, here’s a collection of things that made me go, Hmmm, while traveling Ireland.

Using the key card to turn on the lights in the hotel rooms.
keycard
I am very proud to say that Linda and I figured this out right away! It’s actually a brilliant plan as it saves on electricity and you always know where your room key is.

The Hair Straightener in the ladies’ rest room.
LGM
This seems like excellent marketing—it’s always damp outside! I know I could have used some serious hair care on one particularly rainy occasion.
(That’s a story for another day…)

3 holes in the pepper shaker, only 1 in the salt. Took me all trip to remember! And if that’s not confusing enough, their pepper is white! So you’re three shakes in before you realize you got it wrong, again.

No elevators! No ramps! Nothing is retrofitted to be handicap accessible! Steep stairs, rocky walkways, pebbled streets. I understand that EVERYTHING there is older than anything in America, but still, it was weird.

Despite the craggy cobblestone roads, the young women wear spiky heels.
spiked-metal-heel-thumb-450x401-146552
They must know what they’re doing since it’d be even harder to get around in a wheelchair or on crutches!

The legal drinking age is 18, but not once did I see anyone get ‘carded’.

They have Aldi there.
aldi
Yes, the same Aldi.

Pringles single serve dispensers.
pringles
Weird? Brilliant!

An authentic Irish breakfast includes garlic mushrooms, tomatoes, and baked beans.
I thought it odd at the hotel buffet, but knew it weird at the roadside oasis fast food restaurant.
Also weird to me, the blood pudding- a black sausage, not surprisingly made with pig’s blood. The weird part was the name!

Speaking of pigs, we had ham and ‘bacon’ offered at almost every meal, but not once in our tour of the Irish countryside did we see (or scents, haha) a pig farm. Lots of sheep. Lots of cows. Did I mention LOTS of sheep? But no pigs.
I say ‘bacon’ because, although it smelled wonderful, it’s definitely different than our thin sliced Oscar Mayer. Basically fried ham. Delicious, and a bit weird.

The Fairy Trees are Hawthorne trees that are believed to house the fairies.
fairytree
You do not mess with the trees for fear of angering a fairy.
They routed a main road around a reputed fairy tree. Cost a million euro more in contracting fees, but all parties believe it to be well spent.

They have a little tiny penny.
pennies
And a 2 penny.
It blows my mind to think they used to have a half-penny, or ha’penny. But I do like this little ditty, (because it’s that time of year!), even though it seems to have an English origin- “Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat, please put a penny in the old man’s hat, if you don’t have a penny, a ha’penny will do, if you don’t have a ha’penny, then God bless you!”

From a designer’s stand point, this is less “weird” and more “cool.”
shaver

I found this weird… My traveling companion, Linda, had a birthday on November 5th, the sixth day of our travels. I had mentioned it to a few folks on the bus but not the tour host, Steve, or the tour guide, Donie. So when Donie made an announcement that there was a birthday to be recognized, and Linda glared–I swore it wasn’t me who shared! We all sang Happy Birthday to Linda, or so I thought—until I realized neither Steve nor Donie knew it was Linda’s birthday and most of the bus had been singing to Leonard!

Fellow Ireland tourists, please feel free to add your own “weird” stuff to this list!
(We did and saw so much, I’m sure I’ll be adding, too, as I recall.)

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About Mary Fran Says

I am an artist, crafter, designer and writer. I enjoy working with mixed media-- applying visual and tactile manipulations to telling a story. Not a lot of market for that, though, :), so I'm focusing on short story submissions and novel completions. Yes, plural. Lots of beginnings, too many ideas, not enough focus.
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