Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Soft Water

The water is soft in Kilkenny, and so is the air, and the people as well. You may not think so on a Saturday night when young Dubliners come to town, or when you're sitting in O'Riada's watching a hurling match on TV and a shy enough gent yells, "Jaysus, can't he get his feckin' stick behind the feckin' ball?"

But when you walk down the street and your neighbors greet you, or you stop by the grocers and get a warm welcome, you begin to see the sweetness of the people.

They’ll ask you where you’ve been and where you’re going and are pleased you're staying a month in their town. Then comes all manner of advice: a traditional pub you haven't noticed, where to go for a nice day out, how to find a drug store.

Surprisingly, some of the pubs are hushed. Men come in after work and murmur to each other, while the TV remains mute. Still, they'll chew your ear off and want the same from you: where you grew up, what you did for a living, what you think about this and that. They have opinions of their own: one man claims he never met a person from Seattle he didn't like; "they're so relaxed,” he says, “compared to New Yorkers." I ask them questions as well, just to hear them talk.

Outside the air is soft and warm. Locals tell you you’re lucky; they've never seen it like this, fair weather for months on end. But, “don’t expect the sun tomorrow.”


At June 17, 2007 at 12:35 PM , Blogger Alexis said...

Dear Jan and Ron, I am finally taking the time to slowly read and thoroughly enjoy your writings. How marvelous for you both to have the opportunity to travel to special places for long periods of time. That's special that your friends Nancy and Mort could join you. I miss seeing you , but it's nice to read of your trips. Best to you both. Call me when you are in town and have time. Alexis


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