Ireland: In America

04 Jun 2010

Beans-Irish Style

Well, here I am….I have arrived at my sweet home away from home. And I’m loving it. It’s day three so I am fully adjusted once again to driving on the right side of the road and getting into the opposite car door {okay, so that’s not entirely true}. It’s interesting because each time I return home I am far more aware of how much I am changing and just how much I appreciate the little things that I think Americans do best: incomparable customer service, eternal optimistic enthusiasm and, in a word, just plain“convenience”.

Back home in Ireland, I have *painstakingly* learned to do things on my own a bit more. It’s called “getting on with it” I’m told.  Let’s be clear, I do understand that this “getting on with it” business for me has more to do with living on a farm in the middle of the Irish countryside than it has to do with living in Ireland as a whole.  Still, some things like having your groceries lovingly bagged and delivered to your car for you at the supermarket or having an amazing gourmet pizza transported to your home via rocketship on any given night are things that can really put a smile on your face {and the children’s too}. It would appear that you can have anything you want at virtually any time of night and day here. I admit that found it a bit of a challenge not being able to have this citified life of convenience upon moving to Ireland, but now I realize that having to do more stuff on my own has instilled in me a certain amount of pride that I hadn’t really embraced before. Another plus? It makes things remarkably rosy when we are back for visits.

One of my favourite things to do when I first arrive back home is…drum roll please: Glorious food shopping! Whole Foods, the local co-ops, Trader Joe’s and Lunds/Byerly’s are my happy haunts here. I could giddily browse for hours and hours just examining all the new items and trying all the delicious samples. I am especially loving the locavore movement and being able to find so many fresh local ingredients everywhere. There is an importance placed upon this like never before and it is refreshing especially to “us farmers”.  Still, out of curiosity, I decided to take a look and see which, if any, authentic Irish exports I could find in stock.

I found these…

And these…

And then I was reminded that, at the end of the day, a nice cuppa can always put a smile on our faces too…..

Here or there.

Slan Abhaile,


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12 Responses to “Ireland: In America”

  1. Eamon says:

    I have friends here in Dublin who actually complain when staff are overly-friendly/*rse lickers. Personally I love it when I’m in the States when I’m asked how my afternoon is, I know they don’t REALLY care but it’s still pleasant! And yes, you can put the receipt in the bag. This damn recession at least is making the service industry up their game.

    • Caitlyn says:

      We actually do care 🙂 True there’s a politeness behind the asking at times but mostly we are genuine behind our “hello how are you’s” and “hope you have a nice day Sir/Ma’am’s”. My husband immigrated here from Dublin and that’s the first thing he noticed. Also the first thing I noticed when interacting with people there. His family actually gave out to him non stop about being happy and positive now saying “you’re so American”.
      But in fairness it is grey, cold and raining 99% of the time so i’d be cynical too.

  2. Well, welcome back to the good ol’ US of A! Glad you’re loving’ what you don’t have in Ireland. Fund to take a break from the norm! Even though I live here, the highlight of my grocery shopping week is driving 45 minutes to the closest Trader Joe’s and buying multiples of everything. My three teens, two of which are big strapping boys, eat a box of cereal each for breakfast so I have a cart dedicated to just cereals! Just saw the movie, Leap Year, and immediately thought of my new tweet bud and had to stop in and say hi!

  3. Funny that I should read your fun post today. Upon leaving Sainsbury’s Finchley Road, London, earlier today I heard a (British) couple saying, “this is SO American” referring to the size of the store and the car park. I laughed. It’s safe to assume they’d never been to Wholefoods Santa Monica, or Gelson’s, or any big bad beautiful American grocery store! And I think we could talk customer service for ages!

  4. Breeda says:

    I sooo miss Wholefoods & Trader Joes. I miss the wide aisles in the supermarket where I get dizzy from choices as opposed to the shopping cart battle. I miss the nibbles in Wholefoods, the coupons instead of the points and the customer service, I’m always right! I do miss my life in the states and I do love my life here in Ireland. I am blessed to be able to call them both ‘home’.

  5. Corey says:

    The grocery store is one of my favorite stops wherever I travel… coming “home” to one is just as good. I’ve noticed more stores giving out samples in the US too… I love that!

    Welcome back, enjoy your time and keep the posts coming.

  6. Krista says:

    I remember when I came back to the States after living in Moscow for a few months, nothing made me happier than wandering the grocery aisles at my leisure. I was stunned by the lavish richness, the stunning array of options. Welcome back to America! 🙂

  7. TheGlutton says:

    I love the amazing level of customer service in America. We holidayed in Arizona a few years ago and couldn’t beleive how warm and friendly and eager to help people were. Even trips to New York, which many had told us was brusque and businesslike, was a joy! I love the supermarkets too and the amount of choice and fruit & veg was fantastic – it made me want to cook. I agree though when you don’t have convenience on your doorstep you learn to make-do and sometimes things are a little nicer or taste a little sweeter whn it is made at home. Have a great holiday!

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