the Sound of the Feeling of the Thing

Shannon Sotomayor
January 23, 2016

Yesterday I visited Ireland's first public library, Marsh's Library. The oldest book in their collection is from the 1490s alone. Old book smell was overpowering.

In the past few days especially I've been trying to put my finger on the essence of Ireland; how to describe it, how to communicate what it feels like to be here. But it seems like going back to basics is the best bet. The smells, the sounds, the tastes of chips dipped in curry sauce. It’s a big deal here. So here are a couple of things:

I hear seagulls in the morning as I have a cup of tea in my apartment. I always feel like I’m close to water, close to the beach just with that sound.

The butter here is insane. I actively stop myself from putting it on everything.

Walking down the street I hear at least five different languages a day. There’s an effortless flow of mixing cultures. A man in a coffee shop told me, “There’s actually a lot of Brazilians in Dublin. It’s one of the easiest places in the world for us to get visas.”

“You’re very welcome,” actually means “Welcome. You are welcome here.” And it’s said often enough to get the feeling.

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