In commemoration of our 2nd anniversary in Ireland, here are 116 Things We Know Now That We Didn’t Know Two Years Ago:

  1. The smell of a turf fire.
  2. How to ask for the check in Spanish, French and Italian. And also in Ireland, where it is always “the bill.”
  3. The bus lines that serve Adelaide road, where Sharon’s office is.
  4. Where the cheapest .5 liter of diet coke is to be found (Tesco).
  5. What a potato farl is.
  6. We don’t like Tayto.
  7. What the Lisbon Treaty is; no, wait, still don’t know.
  8. The difference between a glass and a pint.
  9. The best substitute for American bacon is smoked pancetta.
  10. Irish people think Hershey’s chocolate tastes like vomit.
  11. Bar Poë in Granada serves amazing tapas and tintos.
  12. Vin Santo with Cantuccini is the perfect dessert in Italy.
  13. Croissants in France really are worth the trip.
  14. Fanad Head is a gorgeous spot.
  15. The smell of orange blossoms blooming in Spain.
  16. That the spots painted on sheep have something to do with breeding. And who owns the sheep.
  17. What Fuchsia looks like, and that it can grow into 10-foot hedges.
  18. What a fancy shmancy dinner in Paris is like.
  19. The predominance of the comedy quiz show.
  20. Bill can drive on the left as well as the right.
  21. How to hunt for white truffles in Tuscany.
  22. How to get to Slovenia.
  23. There’s no left turn on red in Ireland.
  24. How to order fish and chips: I’ll have a one-and-one, please.
  25. Kinsale was full of Spaniards in 1601.
  26. That “your man” means “what’s his name” or “that guy.”
  27. Who “Good King Wenceslas” was: the patron Saint of Prague.
  28. Fireworks are very popular at Halloween in Ireland.
  29. Rich Hall still has a career.
  30. People in Ireland assume Thanksgiving is a bigger holiday than Christmas in the US.
  31. That cheap airline seats are worth only so much annoyance.
  32. That you can visit Newgrange three times and it is still very cool.
  33. That eating grilled squid in Barcelona will change your life.
  34. Don’t tread too near seagull chicks.
  35. One should do a bit of planning before hopping over to London for the weekend.
  36. The view from Arthur’s seat is worth the climb.
  37. The Campanile of Pisa, known for its listing, is quite beautiful.
  38. The Irish like to protest.
  39. Gaudi was an insane genius.
  40. Grits are a perfect accompaniment to a Full Irish breakfast.
  41. How hard it is to give an Irish bank your money, or pay your car tax to the gov’ment.
  42. You can’t get f**king giardia in Raheny, according to Bill’s doctor.
  43. Bulmers goes great with everything.
  44. Espresso is better in Italy.
  45. The smell of gorse blooming, smells like Victory, I mean, coconut.
  46. Everyone in the world knows the song Sweet Home Alabama. Turn it up!
  47. Taxis are impossible to find in Brussels.
  48. A vestibule is used to divest–take off your armor.
  49. Everyone in Ireland thinks gyros (doner kebab) are drunk food.
  50. That the aroma of roasting barley can fill the air for blocks (see #102)
  51. Bread is as popular as potatoes in Ireland.
  52. Leonardo De Vinci is buried in France.
  53. Michelangelo’s David is truly magnificent.
  54. UK/Ireland, Continental Europe and the US each have a different formulation of Diet Coke.
  55. Guinness is better in Ireland.
  56. Sticky toffee pudding is made with dates.
  57. The Bakers’ Guild had nice digs in 17th century Brussels.
  58. The Christmas Card was invented in London, primarily for business contacts.
  59. Oliver Cromwell was a jackass.
  60. Lardo is delicious.
  61. The high towers at monastical sites were in fact probably not used as hideouts during attack; the doors are 15 or so feet of the ground for structural reasons.
  62. The Irish don’t understand the extent, or reasons, that Ireland is so popular in the States.
  63. The Irish closely follow US politics, especially the presidential primaries and elections.
  64. Still don’t know how to properly order a sandwich. Thank goodness for Subway, but even then they don’t know how to “run it through the garden.”
  65. Cinnamon is not a popular spice in Ireland.
  66. The Irish love porridge.
  67. How quickly one becomes accustomed to four weeks of annual leave.
  68. The Irish pronounce courgette, mange-tout, and aubergine with French pronunciation, but say fil-let for fillet.
  69. The perfection of Heinz beans on toast.
  70. A clerk or hostess will ask “Are you okay?” meaning “Can I help you?”
  71. A common currency is very handy for travel.
  72. Living in Dublin makes every other place feel like a bargain.
  73. Wedding celebrations last for several days in Ireland.
  74. Rainbows really are everywhere in Ireland.
  75. We’ll never complain about gas prices in the US again.
  76. Just when you think a road can’t get any more narrow, it does.
  77. You can drive three minutes into the Wicklow mountains and feel like the only people on earth.
  78. The Irish love The Simpsons.
  79. You can buy graham crackers in Dublin for €8.00.
  80. The Hampton Inn has no idea what a Continental Breakfast is.
  81. Fresh figs are amazing plucked straight from the tree.
  82. It is possible to accidentally order ice cream in Brussels.
  83. It is possible to accidentally order sweetbreads in Italy.
  84. It is possible to accidentally order a skin-on, un-battered, deep-fried chicken breast in Ireland.
  85. It is possible to order a cheese called the devil’s suppository in France, on purpose.
  86. We love food markets wherever we go.
  87. Ireland is not really a food culture, bless its heart!
  88. The Spanish know how to eat.
  89. Garlic in mushy peas is “just not done!
  90. St. Stephen’s Green in Dublin is one of our favorite places on earth.
  91. Marks and Spencer has a terrific food hall. Harrod’s has a splendiferous food hall.
  92. Traveling with friends and family is great!
  93. The Irish drink oceans of tea.
  94. “Fresh” is a meteorological term. And fog can freeze.
  95. It is possible to go “out past the sheep.”
  96. The Irish can’t conceptualize a Southern Biscuit.
  97. The adventures of Craggy Island.
  98. Some of the basic defenses of a fortified dwelling: murder hole (hot sand works great!), rough and tumble stairs (stairs of varying widths and heights that ascend circling clockwise giving the descending swordsman the right had advantage), archers.
  99. “Keep it under your hat” comes from the archer habit of keeping an extra bow string under his hat.
  100. How to pronounce names like Niamh, Roisin, Diarmaid, Padraig, Cathal, Aoife, Orlaith, Caoimhe and Siobhan.
  101. Cornettos are loads better than Drumsticks.
  102. These words are not commonly used in Ireland: downtown, block (as in city block), store, backyard, movie, queso.
  103. Food is gorgeous, and an attractive woman is massive.
  104. On Thursdays, shops stay open late. Until 8:00.
  105. France’s tradition of the cheese cart should be implemented in all cultures. I want a cheese cart in our house.
  106. Sharon likes beef tongue.
  107. The etiquette of ordering rounds on a night out with workmates; no, wait, we still don’t know that.
  108. We like mushy peas.
  109. Most soups in Ireland are blended. If not, someone might complain that there’s eating and drinking in the soup.
  110. It’s unfortunate when things are banjaxed, pear-shaped, or just manky.
  111. Cathedrals are pretty.
  112. Public transportation in Paris, Barcelona, Prague, London and Brussels is pretty great. Not as great in Dublin, but still better than anywhere we’ve lived in the US.
  113. We love Basset’s All Sorts, Bourbon Cremes, Jaffa Cakes and Double Deckers.
  114. The Czech word for September means “when the sun shines but is not hot.”
  115. Pick pockets in Barcelona are quite bold.
  116. St. Anne’s Park has many moods.

Updated Oct 19: #16

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2 Responses to 116 Things We Know Now

  1. martha says:

    I need to know where you can get graham crackers!! oh- and you forgot to say that crack in Ireland is not a drug and is spelt craic lol!!

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