Do you even Ireland, bro?

Originally published on Murphy and taxi driver


Have you heard the story of the Irish guy in Abu Dhabi who took his cab driver with him into a theme park? It’s been getting a lot of press. (You can find various versions of the story here, here, and here.) Yet, for all that it seems a “wonderful” and “generous” gesture, the language Mr. Generous Irishman uses to describe his companion is …off.

Look, I know – really KNOW – that there are all kinds of different expressions that carry subtle undertones and meanings when we talk. I’ve had this particular conversation with many an expat, lots of locals, and countless CouchSurfers. It’s why some of us don’t want to date people from our own cultures – too much unspoken baggage, loads of weird expectations – and why, conversely, some of us only feel comfortable dating within our culture – convenient shorthand, no need to constantly explain, yadda yadda. I get that, despite having lived in Ireland for 5 years now, there is still so much that I utterly fail to grasp about local expressions and turns of phrase. (Just had to have a Father Ted reference explained to me the other day, matter of fact.)

And yet, there are still some things that seem to be universal. One of those is the language of privilege. [Cont’d…]

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