Pops are to Potatoes as Biscuits are to Cookies


It is a 2.5 hour drive from Dublin to Cork and in those 2.5 hours, there are meadows and those meadows are full of sheep. The sheep come in various shades of cream, some with black faces and some with white. I’ve never seen sheep in pastures before, only in petting zoos, so I’m mesmerized by the slow moving spots of white lazing themselves on what seems to be endless stretches of emerald green grass. There are cow meadows between Dublin and Cork, too, but I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen cows taking up space on the roadside so I couldn’t care less about them.

So I’m in Ireland; dia dhuit. My flight, meeting Sean at the airport, and the bus ride to his uncle’s house were completely hassle free. With a little help from Sean, I stayed awake on my first day in GMT and slept through the night. Though a feeling of grogginess remains, I have a feeling I might have cheated jet lag. It has rained 10 times in the last 3 days; short fits of stinging rain that seem to fall and lift as if drawn back like a curtain. There is a dampness that hovers like mist over the snaking rows of brightly colored joined houses. The color palette veers towards blues, reds, yellows and whites but doesn’t appear to follow any particular sequence.

Sean’s family’s house in Cork is white. We’ve made a spreadsheet of potential apartments to contact and view back in Dublin. We’ve given each apartment on the list code names like “Warm Fuzzy Feeling Apartment,” “Cute Kitchen,” “Close to the Luas with Garden Space,” and “Frantic-Seeming Owner.” We went into town yesterday and with shockingly little effort I am now the owner of a mobile phone. Compare one hour of comparison shopping for a Pay As You Go phone to days of agonized debate about  what were then mostly unintelligible Japanese phone contracts. My key ring might be empty for the first time in years, but I’m slowly getting myself on the grid once again.

There are plates clattering in the kitchen – it is Sunday and that means there will be a roast for dinner. Sean has told me about Sunday roasts in the same tones one reserves for a legend: lovely mealy browned “pops” and juicy slices of tender roasted meat.  Fairy tale of Irish Sunday dinner, coccooned by the sound of rain clattering against the windows.

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