The Importance of Being Loved
What a weird day. I arrived back at Baltimore after my night on Cape Clear, just in time to miss my bus, so instead of waiting four hours for the next one, I took some initiative and decided to thumb it to Skibbereen. It was about a half hour before a guy finally stopped and picked me up. Apparently he thought I was one of the two Lithuanian guys he was supposed to pick up to work at his son’s mussel farm, but due to his incredibly thick West Cork accent, I didn’t realise this until ten minutes later when we were still sitting idly in the car waiting. Once it was cleared up that I was neither Lithuanian nor had any plans to work on his son’s mussel farm, we proceeded to spend the next hour waiting for the men and then ultimately going door to door so I could inquire about the missing Eastern Europeans. Thankfully no-one answered their doors; I really didn’t want to have to explain to unsuspecting Irish folk why a Californian was canvassing their neighbourhood in search of a couple of lost Lithuanians.
Later that day, back in good old Skibbereen, I was waiting at the bus stop, when I spied the cutest little old-time store in the world. Of course I had to go inside. Instantly I was in a different era. A very old couple sat behind the counter, chatting with a local woman who had probably popped into the store every single day of her life. We got talking and inevitably the question of whether or not I had any Irish ancestry arose. When I answered, “No, I’m all Eastern European Jew,” the local woman squealed, “Ooh! We LOVE Jewish people!” The three very sweet people then proceeded to tell me, earnestly, that they loved Jewish people because they were basically doing God’s work by being in Israel and fighting the good fight that would help bring about the End Days, and the return of the Messiah. “We’re basically Zionists,” the local woman told me.
With a new odd sense of being, I guess, appreciated, I caught the bus to the town of Schull where I intended to stay the night. Almost immediately I managed to get myself adopted by a group 15 or so university students from Dublin who were in town for some type of sailing competition thingy. Evidently more intent on partying than sailing, they very easily persuaded me to go back to their place and start drinking at 5:30 pm. Jesus, I forgot what college binge drinking was all about. Let’s just say that at one point an entire room full of Irish people began chanting, “U-S-A! U-S-A!” out of nowhere, which they then followed with “Lone-ly Planet! Lone-ly Planet!” Of course after each time cheering happened we were all meant to down whatever beer we had in our hands. The funny part about the whole thing was that they weren’t even doing it to take the piss out of me, they were actually being sincere. Ah, it’s nice to feel loved.