Many of us Galwegians have come from afar to settle in this lovely corner of the world. As a person who has chosen to live here for the last 13 years, I obviously love Galway. So it’s funny how every time an Irish person hears my accent they instantly rant about what is wrong with me? Am I cracked? Why would you move here?
Why? Because it’s fabulous! We don’t know how lucky we have it. Yes, it rains all the time but I love the rain, it’s a blessing in disguise. You see, where I’m from, there was a drought when I was a kid. It never rained. You couldn’t flush the toilet. Everywhere you looked was brown, dry, sweltering… I was perpetually sun-burnt. It lasted for seven years! So I love the rain, the beautiful green everywhere.
I have never driven since I lived here. It’s the great thing about Galway. It’s a city, but a small city, which just makes life easy. Yes, the traffic is bad but that’s more the fault of bad planning by our school playground city council than overpopulation. I have seen my own government fall to pieces, become utterly divided and quite unable to function correctly but that’s in a country of 300 million where half the population is a bit dubious about evolution. The Irish seem to be a fairly reasonable, sensible people; surely our highly paid, financially secure, local politicians can try to behave like grown-ups and fill the massive potholes, fix the road, open the beds in the hospital and get on with it.
Of course, I love the inept show that is the Government. I often find myself entranced with the circus that is Leaders’ Questions. For such a small country, with such amazingly talented people, why are a bunch of entitled imbeciles running the place? They are all so out of touch. Is it because nobody cares or that we have a bad system?
These problems are not uniquely Irish; it’s the same anywhere you go, with dynasties of families in power for generations. My mom was a nurse, but would you trust me to resuscitate you? Good luck! I’m a panicker, I would run off screaming. Of course, in America we have our own legendary political families but I’m a Democrat, so I can claim no knowledge of such things other than the Kennedys and sure we all love the Kennedys right?
For all the misery and drama that has been the collapse of the Celtic Tiger, I am still delighted to be living here and raising my kids here. The public schools are brilliant. My sons’ teachers have been amazing. The attention and care they have received is a credit to Ireland.
That’s why even though it all seems so hopeless, I’m truly optimistic. Nearly everyone I know has a degree or skill that is a result of years of work and training. Fingers crossed, they don’t all flee to Australia. Hopefully, these skills and spirit will get it sorted and, if not, sure we can all go on about it, hating on everybody!