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Expat wanderer

St. Patrick’s Day Coming March 17

St. Patrick’s Day is coming – tomorrow – March 17th. St. Patrick’s Day is not, as it would sound, a particularly religious holiday. While it is a huge celebration, in the United States it is more about being Irish than it is about St. Patrick. Most of the Irish, when they came to America, had about as much status as the Bangladeshis in Kuwait – they were at the bottom of the social heap. It was a long long struggle to achieve respectability; even longer to be free of the prejudices against them.

The Irish celebrated the election of John F. Kennedy the same way the African Americans celebrated the election of Barak Obama – it was the ultimate sign of being part of a united America, full citizenship – “one of us” could be President.

Here are previous posts I have written telling more about St. Patrick, and St. Patrick’s Day celebrations:

Who is St. Patrick?

St. Patrick and the Wearing of the Green

We visited Ireland several years ago, a visit AdventureMan recounts with relish. I made all the arrangements, bed and breakfasts, travel plans, etc. and AdventureMan was uncommonly unenthusiastic. Once we got there, I understood why. Being THE MAN, when we are in the car together, most of the time, he drives. Arriving in Ireland, you have to drive on the “other” side of the road (I did not say the “wrong” side!) Many roads in Ireland are narrow. Cool calm AdventureMan had met his match. He HATED driving in Ireland.

The part of the trip I loved the most was going to Cashel, one of the St. Patrick sights in Ireland:

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It was one of the most beautiful places I have ever visited. The weather was glorious, warm and sunny without being too hot.

From Cashel, Ireland, website:

Cashel has a very ancient history, albeit only documented since the 4th Century. The Rock of Cashel, with its well preserved ecclesiastical remains, is one of Ireland’s most spectacular landmarks, rising above the surrounding plain and dominating the land route southward.The large Cathedral, ancient round tower and the very early Romanesque Cormac’s Chapel , perched on a dramatic outcrop of rock, were silent witnesses to many of the stirring events of Irish History; St.Patrick converted the local King Aenghus, here in the 5th century; Brian Boru was crowned King of Ireland on this spot in the early 11th Century. The Vicar’s Choral has been restored and the site, one of the most visited in Ireland, now provides an interpretative centre, (multi lingual) an interesting museum, guided tours and superb views over the extensive and beautiful plains of Tipperary.

We were visiting in Mid-July. It rained a lot, but the day we drove to Cashel was gorgeous. Even on the rainy days, there were periods of blue sky and sunshine, and the air was crystal clear and sweet. I guess the rain is the reason Ireland is so green, so piercingly beautifully green. I would go again in a heartbeat, but I think this time we would hire a driver!

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March 15, 2009 Posted by | Adventure, Beauty, ExPat Life, Family Issues, Holiday, Ireland, Travel | 6 Comments

Citizens?

Here is what I don’t understand. Sometimes, it is very clear who did what to whom, and sometimes it is not. In the first paragraph, they talk about a serious car accident with six injured citizens, two Sudanese parents and their son and an Iranian female. OK, that’s four people. Who are the other two citizens? A citizen lost control? Which citizen?

I thought a citizen was one who had citizenship, and all the rest of us are Sudanese, Iranian, British, Irish, American, etc. etc. etc. These accident and crime reports are ambiguous, at best. Why so oblique?

From today’s Al Watan:

KUWAIT: Due to a serious car accident which occurred on the Fifth Ring Road heading to Jahra near the Surra area, six citizens, two Sudanese parents and their son, as well as an Iranian female, sustained serious injuries. It was reported that a citizen lost control of his speeding car and hit another other car which overturned. The injured were rushed to Mubarak Hospital by ambulance to seek medical assistance.

Meanwhile, in a separate incident, a citizen suffered serious injuries after his car overturned near a roundabout located in the Abdullah AlـMubarak area. After the operation room received a phone call informing them that a citizen had a car accident and was trapped within his vehicle, police officers and fire brigades rushed to the scene. Firefighters from the Jleeb AlـShuyoukh Fire Station, lead by First Lieutenants Mishari AlـTourah and Bader AlـKandari, managed to rescue the man from the wreckage. The man was taken to Farwaniya Hospital by paramedics to seek medical assistance.

March 15, 2009 Posted by | Entertainment, ExPat Life, Kuwait, Law and Order, News | 17 Comments

Weather Goof

Weather Underground says there is a light haze. There is a haze – it is not what I would call light. When I got up this morning, there were even brief rainbursts – at one point, sheets of rain, but for mere seconds, barely enough to damp down the dry dust floating around. Looks like a fairly serious haze for drive-to-work time. Aaarrgh.

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March 15, 2009 Posted by | ExPat Life, Kuwait, Living Conditions, Weather | 5 Comments