The Great Cheerio Famine
March 19, 2012 § 3 Comments
So… just discovered a little stat-tracking tool that’s showing the number of blog visitors from other countries. Wow. Europeans are totally on board with this suspicion-of-hotel-robes thing. Especially the Irish, it seems. Apparently, we’re also being joined by visitors from the United Kingdom, Germany, and Canada. (Bobby, is that you?) I have no idea how you people got here, but please — pull up a chair and unroll a pack of Mentos.
I don’t know a soul in Ireland, despite having lived there for a short time a few years ago. Just goes to show, if you’re committed enough to your antisocial ways, you can live in a place for months and never make a new friend; but dip a toe into the internet, and bam. Irish buddies!
Irish people, I need to tell you: Your country is beautiful. I had a great time there. But I also learned some important lessons about traveling with small children.
For starters: Parents, when you are dropped off at your new front door by the airport cab with all your luggage at your feet and your two little children clinging to your jacket and wailing, in the blinding sideways rain, with blood pouring down your chin because your 1-year-old just head-butted you and split your lip open, and the cab drives off — you should already know where the nearest grocery store, restaurant, pub, or food establishment of any kind is and how the shit you’re going to get there without a car. If you are a woman, do not assume that your husband who has been working in this country for a year knows this kind of stuff. He does not.
Two small children who haven’t eaten anything since they boarded a plane the day before are likely to try to gnaw each other’s limbs off. And when that doesn’t work, they will come after you. When you realize that you have nothing but half a baggie of cheerios left over from the trip and you’re so exhausted you
could cry are crying, it might not occur to you that you’ve got tears and snot and rain all over your face and your lame attempt at a neighborly smile reveals a freaky-ass mouthful of bloody teeth. You can’t just knock on someone’s door and ask where the Harris Teeter is. Because they won’t know who Harris Teeter is. So they will assume he must be the dastardly villain who did this to you, and then they might call the police.
Do your research in advance.
Oh, also: Be aware that in some countries, what looks like the fridge is actually a freezer, and vice versa. It’s one thing to successfully set out on foot to find food, bring it back and put it away, then settle in for a 10-hour nap. It’s quite another to awaken to find your frozen goods all melted and your refrigerated ones all frozen. But if it does happen, be creative. “YAY, kids! Eggsicles!”
(These days, none of this would be a problem, because you could just pick up your iPhone and ask Siri to drop a steak dinner out of the sky. Still, take note. You never know when you might be out of range and need to be resourceful like in ye olden times.)
Other than all that, the next most interesting thing I learned is that blondes in Ireland are apparently as rare as true redheads are here. Either that, or maybe there’s a thing in Ireland where blondes are considered magical? I’m not sure. All I know is: (a) At least once a day, I got asked for directions to The Netherlands embassy, and (b) If I paused long enough with my baby in her stroller, old ladies would hobble over to touch her hair and call her an angel. Don’t tell me you wouldn’t have given out a few blessings and promised to grant a few wishes if you were in my shoes.
So, just to recap: Still don’t really know what the hell I’m doing with the blog; you have no excuse for being as stupid as me when you travel now; and Ireland is lovely. Carry on.