What a trooper!


After a funeral?

ople give many clues that I’m not the young chick I used to be. This morning is an example. “You are such a trooper,” the owner of the hostel said as I walked down the fifty-five steps to the reception area from the room I was given at the top of the building.

The comment was the prize for making it up and down the steps at my age, I assume.

My trooper-goodness continued throughout the day when I swore, even in the days’ difficulties  I would never give up.

It was the trip to Blarney for the flower festival – a fund raiser for dogs-for-the-blind that put my age to the test.

I was told to catch the bus down the road from the Hostel and that it would be there at every 15 minutes.

But didn’t come in 15 minutes or even for one and one half hours.

Meanwhile people came by and each time I asked the question, “is this the right stop for the bus to Blarney?” And, “when does it come by?”

Every single person had a different response, and then a couple stopped to help me using their technology. The woman looked up the website for the bus company and got the phone number so the man could call and get the correct time.

“It will be here at 10:15. But if it doesn’t then you should walk to the bus station,” he said.

By now my legs and feet hurt so bad from waiting from 9 a.m., and at 10:15…no bus. Another lady stopped and called on her cell phone and got another answer.

“The bus will leave the station at 10:30 so I think it would be better for you to get the bus down there,” she advised.

By this time, three buses had stopped, including one on his second round, but none of the drivers had the correct answer either.

So, I walked to the station, got on the bus, and the driver advised me that he would come by again in Blarney at 3:20 p.m. But that didn’t happen either, instead it was one whole hour later that I waited on tired, sore legs.

Not to worry, however, because the rest of the time was enjoyable. The flower show was   nice with various activities and good people to speak with.

A couple makes jam from fruit and a liquor that was once illegal. I bought a small bottle to give to my next hostess in Macroon, Ireland.

A field of birds tethered to their posts were on display by a man who trains the birds for rescue. Big owls, a turkey vulture and other friends of the sky greeted people who oohed and awe’d at them. Then there was an animal petting area where I couldn’t resist holding an 8 week old rabbit, that seemed to enjoy a cuddle as well as I enjoyed giving it one.

Barry Noyce was there weaving baskets from reeds. His wife, Sarah doesn’t weave but supports the weaver in his hobby. He gave me rules about weaving I’d never heard before, but that was after I told him proudly that I had made one basket myself from reeds around our house in the Colorado mountains.

Some other observations I’ve made so far: American’s way of saying a house is ‘for rent’ is, ‘to let’ here. Food ‘to go’ as American’s say it,is  ‘take away’ here.

“Mini-brekkie?” Small breakfast, of course.

A phrase in common with America and other countries, is, ‘no problem’ in lieu of ‘you’re welcome’. When did ‘no problem’ become the response instead of you’re welcome?

I say thank you to the waitress for serving me and she says, “no problem”. Did I have a problem?

Observations in the hostel: persuasions of every type is represented on the walls in photos and posters, from Che Guevara, to Martin Luther King,  Elvis, to the Beatles, Jazz to Rock ‘n’Roll, oh, yes and Einstein, and many others.







8 Responses to

  1. And in Spanish, it’s “para llevar,” strictly translated means in order to carry.
    That’s just in case you ever get to a Spanish speaking country! // Yes, I’ve never enjoyed the “no problem” response. I think to myself, “Oh, well, good; I’m glad it wasn’t a problem for you to give me my change or tell me where the fresh apples are, that’s your job, isn’t it? It shouldn’t be a problem.” And then I feel like an old-fashioned fuddy-duddy, one of those folks who contemplates with dismay carrying heavy bags up fifty-five steps-and who also likes the language to enhance communication. Hmmm. m-e

  2. I vote that we come up with a response to “no problem” and go viral with it–we’d all have to say exactly the same thing though, like everyone who says “no problem.” Something very nice that would show how happy we are that it was no problem, with just a slight tinge of wistfulness that it wasn’t something more, like “you’re welcome.” All I can think of right now is too many words, like “Oh, that’s a relief! Thank you.” But then they’d probably just say, “No problem.”
    I’m sorry your legs and feet got sore, but I felt wonderful when I saw the pictures and read about your day. I especially love the owl. It looks like it might be a great horned owl. We have one in Golden Gate Park that Max and I caught a glimpse of a few weeks ago. They are very hard to spot, so even though this guy or gal was kind of tied up, it was delightful to see the picture of this beautiful bird, great horned or whatever kind.
    I never knew you made a basket. You really are amazing, and so inspiring. Now I want to make a basket. I guess you’re a trouper too, but I think of you more as a breath of fresh air.

  3. One more thought on the “no problem” problem. In Spanish, I was taught to say “De nada,” which I think just means something like “it was nothing.” That almost seems closer to “no problem” than “you’re welcome.” But on the other hand, it seems to imply “that is the least I could do, and if there were time, I would do so much more because I could, and you are worthy.” But “no problem” just doesn’t have that ring. In French, I think it’s kind of the same–“du rein” (I’m probably not spelling it right though). What is it in German? Dutch? Any others? Anyway, I’d really like to have a word or two to say when somebody says “no problem,” and I promise never to say it again myself–I think I have unconsciously adopted that sorry excuse for a niceity. The advantage of “you’re welcome” over all is that it implies “any time, come back again!” while “no problem” just implies “you don’t bother me very much.” Sorry to go on so long about this, but hey, cous, you hit a nerve! Oh heck! There’s one more thing: these days when I offer some food or drink to my son and/or his friends, they say “I’m fine” instead of “no, thank you.” That bugs me too. To me, it sounds like they think I thought they were suffering when they weren’t, and I really ought to just leave them be, instead of that I was thinking of something nice they might like to have. I’m perfectly willing to be rejected, but I’d like to be thanked for my little offering. OK! I’m done! Thank you for sharing Ireland with us.

    • Well, now I’m happy that I’m not the only person who finds that disturbing. I can’t think of another word to describe it, maybe disturbing is too strong. But, I too, find the words, “I’m fine” strange instead of “No thank you”. I have found myself saying that as well. So now that we’ve opened the lid on it, guess I’ll pay attention.

      By the way, I’m fine here in Ireland. Glad you like the blog.

    • In Costa Rica, the you’re welcome is “Con Mucho Gusto”. I never heard “de nada” there.

  4. On the topic of the response to “thank you”, I had a friend who used to always say “it was my pleasure” and I really liked that response. Maybe a response to “no problem” could be “I appreciate you , or your service, anyway”. Just a thought.

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