I realized I hadn’t been fished – I had been culchiefished

I always thought that the differences between “culchies” and “Dubs” were invented by the Irish until true multiculturalism emerged. For a while I thought the Irish were just making up stories about towns beyond invisible borders just a 20 minute drive away to keep things interesting.

I was told I couldn’t trust anyone from Kerry. A cute hoor isn’t a handsome sex worker in this case, apparently. I’ve been told that the people of Cavan are notoriously tight. “They are so mean, when they listen to mass on the radio, they turn it off when the fundraising starts,” said a friend.

More worryingly, I have been warned that the Roscommoners have a predilection for theft. A colleague from Longford said his GAA manager used to inflate them for games against Roscommon by warning them that “the Rossies will cross the Shannon at night. and steal your sheep!“I have not been able to test the veracity of these claims because I have no sheep to steal. I don’t know if that’s a good or a bad thing, but it depends on which side of the Shannon you’re on, I guess.

I don’t think a place within an hour’s drive of a Penneys can be classified as rural. But I understand Irish geographers don’t follow my highly scientific metrics

I decided to investigate the famous urban-rural divide when I moved around the Galway countryside a bit during the pandemic, following my other half to their hometown.

For starters, I don’t think a place within an hour’s drive of a Penneys can be classified as rural. But I understand Irish geographers don’t follow my highly scientific urban division metric of Penneys, so I kept an open mind. Sure enough, the street lights disappeared from the road, and as we got closer my boyfriend suddenly started wedging the back of his hand against the windshield with every car we passed in a gesture that was quite frightening for the passenger no -initiate who hurtled down the stone walls at 80 km / h. .

We arrived at our Airbnb. Our temporary landlady, Pat, had outfitted the house with pasta, sauce and all the condiments we could possibly need. Irish country women are both welcoming and terrifying in their efficiency. I was impressed. I can’t plan two hours in advance. I regularly leave the house with two similar looking but ultimately different boots, but Pat anticipated the culinary needs of strangers so they weren’t taken aback when stores close early.

“Well!” she said authoritatively, wiping off an already crisp meter while explaining how the internet worked. The house was so clean that I felt inferior as a woman. She promised to call to see how we were doing.

My boyfriend pointed out the places of historical and cultural significance. Oddly enough, these were always pitches where he had scored goals or GAA clubs from rival cities and therefore inferior to backward customs.

Terrified that she would keep her promise and that we would have nothing to offer her other than stale digestives, I went to the store every day to buy fresh cakes. I had nightmares where she reported to other ladies in town: “Australian girls, they don’t have good manners. Chocolate digesters, do you believe? Australia’s diplomatic reputation in North Galway was a heavy burden to bear alone, but I made my country proud.

On the third day, a lady knocked on the door. She made a delivery but had the wrong address.

“Who are you?” she asked suspiciously.

I told him my name.

“But I don’t know you,” she said with a tone of voice that implied it was a personal failure on my part. It wasn’t until I said who my partner was and we connected the dots of who in her family had gone to school with who in her family that she decided she trusted me enough to leave the package in my custody for the neighbor next door. Credentials are important here.

This weekend, I was given the grand tour of the surroundings. My boyfriend pointed out the places of historical and cultural significance. Strangely enough, these were still pitches where he had scored goals or GAA clubs from rival cities and therefore inferior to backward customs.

“What’s the difference between you and them?” ” I asked.

“We would say hello to someone and say ‘howya tree? They would say “howiya scan?” And that other town down the street would say ‘howiya sham?’ Absolute headers, ”he said with the solemnity of someone who has just explained the difference between Sunni and Shia Muslims.

We only bought Connacht Gold butter from the store. Kerry Gold wasn’t good – of course you couldn’t trust what the cute hoors would put in there. No, it was only local dairy for us

Our habits also started to change, the longer we stayed. We only bought Connacht Gold butter from the store. Kerry Gold wasn’t good – of course you couldn’t trust what the cute hoors would put in there. No, it was local dairy for us.

“Is it a pub with a travel agency?” inside?”I asked as we stepped out onto the main road with the shops.

“Oh yeah, and also an undertaker. This is also where we bought our school uniforms. You would be there, standing next to a coffin and an aul ‘fella would say, “Schtick that sweater over there to try it on.”

It was then that I realized that my partner’s accent had changed as well.

“Since when does the stick have an ‘h’ in it?” ” I asked.

“Shtick it up your hole,” he replied.

Then I realized that I had not been trapped. I had been culchiefed. Two years after meeting a bearded hipster with thick glasses at a rave in Dublin, I was now spending a lot of time outside, looking at things and agreeing that, yes, it was “a big big field / tractor / cow” . He had sucked me well.

But aside from a weird and widespread appreciation of having an aerial photo taken from the outside of your house and hung inside your house, was there a real difference between our cultures?

I called my grandmother, a dub from the city center of the Five Lamps district who decamped in Sydney 50 years ago.

“Your mom told me you have a new boyfriend. Where does it come from? ”She asked.

Nan is a tolerant and welcoming woman. Three of his grandchildren are indigenous. She adores my brother’s Sicilian wife. Sometimes she talks to my father, the great Prod. So I knew it would be good.

“He’s from the countryside, in Galway,” I tell him.

Pause.

“Jaysus, a bloody quagmire then. “

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