Sometimes I refer to myself as faux Irish. I’m pretty sure my last name is Irish, and I like their beer. Occasionally I refer to the Irish as “my people” because I think that’s funny, but, I mean, that’s a stretch. I have a fondness for Ireland, but that’s mostly because I spent a semester in Cork. It’s travel nostalgia.
I took a semester of Gaelic while I was there, and the title for this post is my favorite thing to say in that language. It means “post office.” I can also say “It is raining” and I know the verbs for “to run” and “to be pregnant,” although let’s not get into the whys of that. My Irish friends used to infuriate me by saying that Gaelic is a very phonetic language. Spanish is phonetic. Gaelic is a language where, like, if you put an L and an M together you get a V sound, but only if it’s proceeded by a certain vowel. So, ask yourself, if you were going to take a purely phonetic attempt to pronounce “oifig an phoist” what would that sound like?
But for all my superficial Irishness, I get a little excited about St. Patrick’s Day. Is it because I look good in green and like dark beer? Probably. But I have a CD that I picked up in Killarney (my friends and I went to hear a band play based mostly on the fact that a man outside the pub warned us against going in to hear “the devil’s music.” Apparently, Satan loves a good reel.) that will find it’s way into rotation along with The Frames and The Pogues. I’ll have a pint of Murphy’s Irish Stout and think fondly my time living in a tiny apartment on Pope’s Quay.