The thing I have loved about these overseas trips (or across the pond as no one says over here but they said a lot in England) is the way we get to interact with the city a little bit more. When you come on vacation there’s an urgency to your trip: hit up this area, check out that area, check out that area. Make sure you do it quickly because we have to rush. But with these trips, we get to enjoy ourselves a little bit more. Take our time, and savor the fact that we are in Ireland, immersing ourselves in the local culture.
For instance, yesterday was Fish and Chips Day, which definitely wasn’t an advertising ploy to get us all out to buy Fish and Chips. Or maybe it was. I’m still not really sure. What I am sure of is that we found this tiny little Fish and Chips place right in Salthill.. (Called, interestingly enough “Salthill Fish and Chips.” Hey, I get it now.) The Ireland Creative Writing Workshop, being the intrepid explorers that we are, decided that National Fish and Chips day was to get Fish and Chips. If you are unaware what Fish and Chips are, then I’m sorry for you, and you’ve had a sad life up until now.
Problem number one: the shop that held said Fish and Chips was a wee bit small. By “Small” I mean, “they probably didn’t expect 12 Americans to come piling into their shop at 7 O’Clock at Night.” Which is odd, because that’s the earliest we’ve eaten since we got here, and that’s still pretty early.
Oh, that’s the other part I should probably mention. You see, we don’t just have to fly East to get to Ireland, we also have to fly North. So, you know how you see all of those things in America about how Alaska gets dark for about 20 hours a day in the winter but is sunny until 2 a.m. in the Summer? It’s sunny until about 10:30 p.m. here, which is nice but really starting to throw off our sleep patterns and our eating patterns. We typically eat at dusk, which is about 9:30 here. Which is great because it means vampires can’t attack like in that one movie, but is starting to affect us a little bit. I hear the hallucinations go away after a few weeks. The Ghost of James Joyce Told Me so.
The first thing that happened after we wandered into this Fish and Chips shack… well, second after the clerk behind the counter said a silent prayer that I don’t think we were supposed to hear, was the stark realization that we did not have enough chairs inside to accommodate 12 people. Being industrious, we noted that there was a table and several chairs OUTSIDE the tiny little Fish and Chips shack, and it wouldn’t take much effort to make those items be INSIDE the tiny Fish and Chips Shack. Did I mention it was tiny? So, we all squeezed into this place, because it was way too cold outside to enjoy Fish and Chips.
Then, we ordered. I don’t know that they’ve gotten that many orders that late in the day, and in a row, too. (But shout to the way the handled it, especially as they just took into consideration the various Fish and Chips combinations. For those of you interested, I had the fried Cod.) And it was pretty good Fish and Chips, too, with the fish being fried and the chips being fried… actually, it’s pretty difficult to mess up Fish and Chips, unless you’re an American Pub pretending to be a place that serves fish and chips, and you don’t serve them with the big, delicious fries and frying all of the healthy bits out of it. If you don’t see a bright light and hear a voice beckoning you when you’re done, then you didn’t REALLY eat Fish and Chips.
And they were GOOD. Filled with oily goodness.
Eventually, we did leave, after a brief struggle with keeping the door cold (we experienced our one day of summer the previous day) and the looks of people that I’m sure were just running into the Fish and Chips place for just a quick snack and wondered when it had been overrun by Americans.
Of Course we never did find out if it was a real holiday or not...