Things I think you should know:
- The O’Regans make fun of me incessantly for saying the word “awesome”, but only because they think it’s awesome. They now say “awesome” in an exaggerated surfer voice whenever they think something is cool. Or when I walk into the room. It’s hilarious.
- I have officially influenced Ciara. She says “badass” all the time now, and promises to go use it at school when she returns next week. I will have successfully influenced the next generation of Cork teenagers by this time next month.
- Every Irish farmer I meet is barely understandable and wants to go to Texas and be a “real life cowboy”.
- Every damn person the O’Regans know now knows that my Granny Rice sent me to Ireland with the express purpose of finding a husband. The O’Regans seriously tell this story to EVERY PERSON we see.
- They also tell the story of when I took pictures of a box of fruity condoms in the market and how the store clerk followed me around because she thought I was suspicious.
- For some reason Teddy calls me Tracy all the time. He doesn’t even know anyone named Tracy. He just forgets my name and is stuck on Tracy. Aoife yells at him for it. It’s funny.
- Every one we meet outside the house invites us to have a cup of tea or coffee at their place. The O’Regans also insist I have a cup of tea nearly any time they see me. Thus, I now drink at least five cups of hot tea a day. Also, every Irishman and Brit I have tea with thinks I’m a freak of nature because I take my tea “black”, as in without sugar or milk. This is apparently very, very weird in Ireland. I’m now “that American girl that likes her tea black.” This is another thing the O’Regans tell everyone we see after introducing me.
- The word “crack” means fun in Ireland. Ciara’s friend Shannon was talking about going to a teen club and she said they would have great crack. I was scandalized. I said, “you guys toke up in teen clubs here?!?!” Then I had to explain what “toke up” meant. Then they explained what “crack” meant. It was messed up.
- They also think it’s funny when I say “that’s messed up”. They say “that’s mad” instead. Instead of “that’s cool”, they say “that’s grand”.
- Every time they tell a story about a guy, they say “your man” in reference to the guy after he’s been first introduced. For instance, “so your man goes into a bar . . .” The first couple of times I had to remind myself that they weren’t talking about my ex-boyfriend or something.
- Light switches are only on the outside of every room, and it’s a code violation to have a light switch on the inside of a bathroom. Instead it’s on the wall outside the door or around the corner of the door. So EVERY FREAKING MORNING I stumble into the bathroom and feel around for the damn light switch before realizing it’s on the outside wall and around the corner of the doorway. Weird as hell? Yes.
- I walked into the backyard after mucking the stables this morning and Aoife was saying “Misty is in heat, and she’s got out and has been messing with the horses in the stables again. We’ll have to lock her up.” I asked Aoife if she was calling me some kind of bestial slut. Obviously she wasn’t. The O’Regans own a beautiful white mare named Misty. Apparently Misty is in heat. Now every time I walk by Misty the mare (now locked up), I say sotto voce “…..slut”.
- There’s other stuff, but I’ll have to tell you later. This shit happens all the time. No lie.
LOTS of stuff happened today, but it’s already midnight so I won’t write about all of it. Suffice to say I mucked stables, power-washed numnahs (English style horse blanket), saw a jockey paint the O’Regans chimney, had tea with a huge British family, went to the top of a hill and saw wind farms, had a wonderful lunging session with Skippy (my new favorite), had a terrible lunging session with Rocky (the asshole), had a terrible riding session with Rocky (the fucking asshole), cooked a freaking fabulous dinner of enchiladas for my host family, discussed geographical boundaries with a PhD student in visualization, and had a laugh over a terrible misconception concerning outside toilets.
It was both a horrible and a wonderful day. Maybe I’ll write about it tomorrow if I have a free minute.