Wednesday, October 8, 2008

"Polite, yet distant, friendliness"

A good article in the Irish Times today by a Polish person returning home from Ireland:

"To befriend an Irish person is a different story. Coming from my culture, where you say what you think, it was a mighty challenge to understand what was really said in a conversation. Freud was right in claiming it was impossible to psychoanalyze the Irish. That barrier of polite, yet distant, friendliness seemed impregnable. To my delight, I found out that it was actually soluble in alcohol."

Yes, alcohol is the key. Psychoanalysis is one of those foreign concepts which I feel never made sense in Ireland (like communism, or the practice of taking uneaten food home from restaurants). As an Irish person, I think "if I don't tell my closest friends how I feel, why would I tell a psychoanalyst?".

On another note, it is good to hear that people coming to Ireland for work feel welcome:

"In Ireland, I felt welcome. Was this because Ireland never adopted the mentality of an imperialist country? Because Irish people knew best what it meant to look for work abroad? Or more pragmatically, that the economy boomed and migrant labour was now welcome?"

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