The Irish and the smiling white pig.

“Aw, darlin’ is everything ol’ roight? Kin oy hep ya?

I stood at the end of the street carrying a small bundle of clothing I planned on giving to a second hand shop. There are several in the city, and without pre-arrangement, I knew I’d find one somewhere, plus I had other chores to do.

“Oh, no, I’m okay. Do I look confused?

“Oh, no, luv, I didn’t mean to imply it. Where do ya want t’ go?” The lady with orange hair and a worried look on her face, asked.

“I walked a different way than usual, and I’m looking at that bridge and wondering if I should walk over it to town, or should I go down the street and take the bridge I’m familiar with.”

“This is the end of Shandon, roight here, luv. Do ya need some hep, darlin’?

“No, I’m all right. I’m just thinking about what to do next. Really, I’m fine.” I convinced her for she walked on and crossed the bridge. I followed.


I dropped off the few ‘tops’ I had worn for the nearly four month journey, and then began to look for a bank to get some more euros. The day before I purchased some ‘tops’ or ‘jumpers’ as they are called here. The stores shout in great huge signs: “70 Percent Off” or “Everything Must Go”  and so on. I paid my last euros for six T-shirts and sweaters. It was a great deal for 40 euros. They are all bright colors, as opposed to the dark ‘jumpers’ I started with on my journey.

I asked three men standing on a corner if they could help me.

“I’m not sure where to find a bank. Can you tell me where I could find one close? I don’t want to walk too far.”

“Sure I can, luv. Go down there to the end of the street. Turn right and you’ll find a bank on the left side.”  I didn’t know which man to look at for all three explained and gestured at once. All three wore rumpled black suit coats and trousers; one wore a tie, and two wore caps that I’ve seen often on Irish men. I don’t know the name of them. The other man had mounds of white hair, a pink face and pale blue eyes.

I realize that the comfortable distance between two people is closer than in America. People stand close when they’re talking to you. I have observed that while people-watching and from my own experience.

So I found the Bank of Ireland, went up to the window with my ATM card to get some euros from my credit union.

“We don’t give money from those cards anymore, luv.”

“How am I supposed to get money then, huh?”

“Use the machine to me left,” she pointed back to where I came from.

“Oh, no I’ve heard that those take your card and when that happens you cannot get it back. I cannot risk that.”

“Oim sorry, luv, but I cannot hep ya here.”

Well, doesn’t that just put me in a pickle. What will I do if my card gets stuck? I have no more money. But, I’d risk it anyway, and I put the card in, it took it but gave me a message that my pin number was wrong. How can that be?

Panicked now, I went outside, and tried to remember the number. I had used another number that was associated with another system. Then, aha! I went back in to the machine that scared me, put my card in and used the other number, waited for what seemed way too long, but out popped the money, followed by my card. Life is good.

Next on my list was to get my omeprazol meds for the heartburn problem. It was no problem in Dublin or anywhere in Iceland to get the meds over the counter, but was thwarted in Cork by a women in the first pharmacy.

“No, my luv, oim very sorry, but we cannot give ya that, for we have laws here.”

“I got it in Dublin. Why not here?”

“Did ya have a prescription?”

“Oh, no but I had a prescription for another medicine by a doctor and I filled it and the omeprazol at the same time. Maybe that’s why they gave it to me, do you think?”

“Probably, ya right, dear. Sorry.”

Well, I went on to a second opinion down the street to a newer looking pharmacy. The other one was so old, it still had wooden floors and wooden shelves, not that it made any difference. Actually, I thought it was cozy and quaint.

“No I cannot.” The kind, and attractive young pharmacist, with greying temples and black hair, said.

But he did give me another brand that he said should do the job as well. He said it was only a matter of time that omeprazol would be over-the-counter, but just not now.

So I purchased that, and then walked around to find a restaurant where I could sit down and be served.  But instead, I found myself inside the famous, old English Market and got carried away with the shops and the stalls. But left immediately when at the butcher counter, I observed a half a head of a pig that was pure white with a mouth that looked as though it was smiling.

I got the heck out of the English Market and continued on to find a restaurant, but the pig wouldn’t leave my mind.





One Response to The Irish and the smiling white pig.

  1. Well, yes, I had to feel sad about the pig (they’re more intelligent than dogs, did you know that?), and also about the Puck-Goat. I think it must be a highly unpleasant experience being on a high table for several days, being an object of unwanted attention, and then having a horn cut off. Gives me shivers. m-e

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