a few words of a kind…

Soft day, hard landing…

Just got back from San Francisco a few days ago. It always takes a while to settle into the flow of Ireland after the 18 hour journey, like dipping my toes in the water again…
First impression on driving from Shannon Airport was how quiet the road was…much fewer trucks than a couple of months ago, not that many cars and no backlog outside the town of Gort. In fact Gort seemed to have slipped back a few decades, like I remember it in the 1970’s, a quiet  town minding its own business, silently recalling the times when Yeats, Lady Gregory and other scribes did their shopping and worshipping here. In the last decade, the town experienced a huge influx of Brazilian immigrants, plus ‘plane loads of Poles, Lativians and Estonians — all eager to ride the Celtic Tiger. Brazilian stores opened and local shops posted signs in Portuguese, Father G even had a Portuguese Mass for his new flock. Gort hadn’t seen so many changes or such an influx of bodies and cash since the British garrisoned there in the 19th century.

And now the Celtic Tiger and its promise of luxury for the masses has disappeared like the Leprachaun and his crock of gold. It was just an illusion and instead of gold, people are left with sheaves of bank loans and credit card bills. Many of the Brazilians left, others have joined the dole queues, along with the remaining Poles and the disheartened Irish. Ireland is in shock and nobody has any dosh to pay the piper for all the merry tunes he played for the last few years.

Anyway, I stopped in Gort for a few bits and pieces. Two of my favourite shops were closed for the day, so I reluctantly went to the supermarket. The PA brashly announced:
“Shoppers! We have great value for you this week! Pork chops are only €20 a kilo, Cyprus potatoes €5 a kilo. Gaga gin only €20 a bottle…”
Terrible shit to hear after a long haul flight. So I grabbed fruit and bread and went to the checkout, to be served by a bored lady with a ring in her nose and a tattoo on her neck. My bill has €11…about $14. I felt ripped off, because I’d have bought the same goods for half the price in San Francisco.

Rain began to fall as I crossed the car park. I passed two country women muttering about depression. On the car radio talking heads rabbited about the risk of social unrest and secret training that the army and cops were undertaking. Was this the same country I left two months ago?
Instead of an answer, a song played in my head — “I left my heart, in San Francisco…”

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7 thoughts on “Soft day, hard landing…

  1. Tanto Malley on said:

    Hi, delighted that you’re back and scribbling down your thoughts!

  2. Thanks for the latest, always nice to know how situation on the Continent.

  3. Sister Seana Ni Giolla P. on said:

    Edward, I’m so glad you are back……I missed our cups of tea and the rosary….you have a grand turn to the second half of the hail mary. Theres none like you. I tried out the steps for the jig from the DVD you left me but Mother Superior confiscated it and banished me to clean out the hen house for 2 months.
    Your’s in prayer, SSNGP

  4. ed
    good to read your experiences on your return
    must meet up soon

  5. kathryn erickson on said:

    Hi Eddie. Hate to say that’s what I feared, the tiger defanged. All those lovely vacation homes standing vacant…so sorry for the poor greedy developers……NOT! I’m coming to visit next week; will be staying with Helen and Roger. I hope you come by for tea or dinner or a visit or whatever—and isn’t it the Cuckoo Fleadh?

  6. ed-i am pretty sure i know all those starring in finito. but then again my mind might be playing tricks on me. maybe it was another lifetime. i must consider therapy

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