A Parade, Elvis, some Greek lessons, and an Inflatable Fish: My Irish Paddy’s Day
I just experienced my first Paddy’s Day in Ireland and though I didn’t find a pot of gold and the only shamrock I found was the one on my hairbow, I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was a lot more laid back than I had expected. I guess I am used to American holidays – Americans LOVE holidays and everything that goes with them. I probably shouldn’t admit that I had a tasteful yet spirited Veterans’ Day outfit that I wore for several years running, but the Army green khaki dress still hanging in my closet back home might give me away.
What did I do on this lucky day in March? I decided to stay in Limerick to see what the city had to offer. I had my hopes set on seeing a leprechaun and one of my friends was hoping to see “dinosaurs, explosions, and elephants that were dancing capoeria.” Needless to say, we didn’t see any of those things, but we did see the local parade. It was the funniest thing. I didn’t know what half of the floats and costumes were for. There were foxes wearing suits while walking on stilts, there was a giant inflatable fish, there was a wizard-and-horse 2-in-1 combo costume…there were all sorts of odd characters out that day. Then there were a few very thoughtful protestors and advocacy groups. I loved the man dressed as St. Patrick with a sign saying, “Banish the Irish Water Snakes” and the girl dressed as a bee lying on a stretcher with a sign that said “Stop Killing The Bees.” Very clever. Besides these, I saw some nuns carrying the Irish flag, a few children doing some impressive karate moves, a church group with hand puppets, and several Mohawk wigs dyed with the Irish colors.
After watching the parade, we went to a pub where some of the lads got a few pints of Guinness and I got a kiss on the cheek from a man dressed as Elvis. Why was a man dressed as Elvis on Paddy’s Day, do you ask? And why was he going around kissing young girls? Your guess is as good as mine. Perhaps we’ll never know.
Now, the funny thing was that besides seeing the Irish Mohawk wigs and going to a pub, my St. Patrick’s Day was very Greek. I spent the whole day with only people from mainland Greece, Crete, and Cyprus. Instead of learning Irish phrases, I came away from the day with useful Greek phrases. For example, I learned a very handy word that jumps back and forth between a friendly word you call a person you’re close to and a word that could be very insulting if spoken in a certain manner. I think it probably would have been safer to teach me something like, “Would you please pass the salt?” But then again, I should probably keep my sodium intake down.
What else did I do on my St. Patrick’s Day? I went on a 3-hour run for my marathon training (and got some weird looks while doing so…because really, who goes running on St. Patrick’s Day??) and then I worked on my 30-minute presentation for my Masters Research Project.
I was quite satisfied by my day. I think I hit all of the traditional and non-traditional St. Patrick’s Day activities. Next year though, I have my fingers crossed for a leprechaun sighting!