Distinctly Canadian Things in…Ireland?
One of my first visits was a very small town in Dingle.
Dingle is located on a peninsula on the very south-west corner of Ireland. If you fly in from Dublin (which is what I did), it’s a six hour train and bus ride…which involves two trains, and a couple hours of waiting in small town bus stations.
It’s one of only a few places in Ireland that still uses Irish as the main language in school. Everyone knows English (it’s like Germany in that way), but casual conversations around the town are frequently in Irish. It’s really cool: it sounds like they are speaking English with Irish accents…only you can’t make out the words. It usually took me a sec to figure out when people were actually speaking Irish instead of heavily-accented English.
Anyway, after all that travel into the heartland of rustic Ireland, what do I find in their local gas station?
That’s right: Tim Hortons right here in Dingle!
Now I was met with mixed feelings. On the one hand, it doesn’t hurt to see some creature comforts from back home: it can help with the home sickness.
On the other hand: this isn’t Tim Horton’s coffee.
It tastes very different from the stuff back home. I don’t know if it’s the different water, or what, but it definitely doesn’t live up to Canadian standards. I have actually found that all over Ireland, so far. Even Starbucks has a water-down taste to it. Maybe in Ireland they use small coffee to water ratios or something. I don’t know.
I think that this little episode shows you that you never know what to expect when you see the world. And that’s part of the reason to go: to expand who you are by exposing yourself to different people and customs. You find out who you are by testing yourself in new and different circumstances. Maybe I’ll really love something that I try here in Ireland and decide to stay. Who knows?