Last year I celebrated St. Patrick's Day in Cork, Ireland. You would think that if there was any place you should be on St. Patty's Day..it should be Ireland..right? Well my experience told otherwise.
My Irish roomates warned me not to expect much, especially if I had been to the New York festivities before. I just shrugged this off..I was in Ireland! What could be better or more exciting?
I started off the day with a late start and a homemade crumpet.
At least these boys resembled Irish Jonas Brothers...I don't think they would have that in the American parade.
The parade started off with a giant dragon-type balloon. It eventually fell down and began eating all the small children in the crowd.
Kids were dressed from head-to-toe in green. But the display of Irish pride definitely didn't compare to the NYC parade.
They had some sort of theme...space ships? Last time I checked this wasn't the outer-space parade.
Aliens with giant kissy-lips.
Green cheesin' creatures.
They had a cultural potion as well. This was a little boy playing the flute from a country I unfortunately can't recall.
There were some dancers. Perhaps from Serbia?
This is my favorite shot from the parade.
The turnout was not nearly as large at NYC. Of course Cork is a much smaller city, but I would have expected more enthusiasm since it is Ireland. However, every day that I spent there, I always encountered an abundant amount of cheer and drunkenness. I suppose every day of the year they prepare for St. Patrick's Day. In America, it's more of a corporate thing. Which is the way it is with most holidays. Valentine's Day anyone?
Enjoying vanilla soft serve on a GREEN cone with a Flake chocolate stuck in.
Despite the parade, Ireland was definitely one of the best experiences of my life. All the people are the friendliest, cheeriest people you'll ever encounter.
On that note, I'll talk about when I was sick for two weeks with a throat infection. All of my friends and roommates were either out traveling or had visitors over, so I had no one to turn to if I needed help. My throat infection left me the weakest I've ever been. I couldn't sleep, eat or swallow and I had no idea what to do about any of it. One day I walked down to a nearby chemist (yes, they call pharmacists "chemists"..isn't that lovely?). She was an adorable elderly woman who reminded me of someone I would want to call my grandmother. I told her my problem and she advised I take some pain medication and some throat drops. I thanked her..extremely glad to have at least something besides a cup of tea and some honey.
I came back almost every other day..to replenish my throat drops and also because I really enjoyed having someone to talk to when no one else was around. Also sitting in my room all sick and dreary wasn't the nicest of things, so I would go for short walks every so often.
One day I woke up and my throat felt as if there were knives slicing it. I walked down to the chemist and asked her to give me the strongest medication she had because I was in a lot of pain. She took one look at me and called a nearby doctor's office to make an appointment. She gave me directions and said I should really go see the doctor at this point. Honestly that was the nicest thing for her to do that. I feel like she really cared for me and wanted to make sure I got the proper treatment. So I went to the doctor, got some antibiotics and was all cleared up in a few days.
So that's my experience with Irish chemists. And I'm very grateful that chemist was there through my terrible two weeks when I was all on my own.
Anyways, perhaps the parade would have been more festive in Dublin, but I won't ever know. I suggest just going to the Manhattan parade if you're really looking for a wild time smothered in green.