Eat more grass!

Ireland is an island to the west of Britain. Winds are blowing from the north, south, east and west of the island. Ireland is well known for Rugby, grazing sheep and a beer brewery called Guiness. In rural Ireland ( where I live ) there are more sheep than people but the people are always up for a bit of banter. In urban Ireland, namely Dublin ( where I work ) most people in the city centre are tourists. They are easily to be distinguished not only, because they are all dressed up as if the winds blowing here from all directions would carry them away in the next thirty seconds, if they would not wear their ultra- waterproof windshield jackets, but because they always arrive in flocks alike the sheep we are so very fond of here. Ireland makes it only rarely in the news of the European Union. Probably you buy here and then a piece of Kerrygold butter that is cheaper in Germany than in Ireland and if you are not part of tourist group, the executive president of the James Joyce Society in Aix-en-Provence or a hard-core Rugby fan, I assume you do not care about this small island, west of Britain. I certainly never did before I moved to this island, still today I am not too fond of Joyce, have a distant relationship to Rugby and drink no beer at all. Every morning I haste along the silent and dark road to catch the bus that drives to Dublin. The next train station is two and half kilometers away, and I am always the first person on the bus. The bus driver is a good-humored man and when he sees that I am late and keep on running to catch the bus, he laughs and stops the time I needed to catch up with him. It is the only bus that connects the village with the town. Useless to say that the bus does not run on Saturdays or Sundays. One hour later I get off the bus and while I walk to the University I count the many homeless people on the street. Today I counted three tents, several cardboard boxes at the entrances of shops and people sleeping without any covers in the doorframes. I always had spare money in my pockets till I moved  to Ireland, since I did so, all my change wanders in the paper cups of the homeless people, who accompany my days. Daily you can read in the news paper of the homelessness crisis but year after year, morning after morning I just count more and more sleeping rough on the streets. They are old and young, male and female, they are visible and so very invisible at the very same time. Sometimes you can read in Le Monde or DIE ZEIT or whatever you read where you live, from the economic recovery that takes place in Ireland and especially in Dublin. If you are not an employee of Google this is just a bit of satire on page 3. The Irish Times, a newspaper one would call respectable, has established a series lately that addresses the crisis and helps people to figure out where they can save even more when looking at their meagre checks at the end of every month. Experts and oh, how lovely it is that even a small island has plenty of experts, give you advice on how to handle your income better. Their proposals are stunningly banal and even worse: most cynical. A highlight of their expertise remains still the family I read about lately, who by no means had caviar for breakfast, should now make cuts on food. Adult people were advised to race late to the supermarket to get cheap crap, even cheaper, to buy in the fist place only the cheapest of cheap food and to use cheap ingredients to cook cheap stuff that lasts for weeks. Again, the people advised were a full-time working couple and the experts were smiling as if they had worked out the formula for world peace, while seriously telling grown up people, forced to live on insufficient wages to stop eating Kerrygold butter. But there is space for more I think, why eating every day anywhere, why not only twice a week? Oh, the savings! Why not eating grass? Grass is everywhere in Ireland. It is green, fresh and certainly healthy ( isn’t this success mantra for foodies). It is a never-ending resource, you can have grass all day long, add water and drink „Grassy“ the grass smoothie. Do you feel up for something dry? Try hay! Totally vegan as well. „Eat more grass“, I see it clearer and clearer should become the slogan for the recovering Ireland and I am sure if this becomes a success, Ireland will make it into the headlines on every single day and while the village of mine has plenty of meadows, full of grass and herbs, maybe one day even the buses will start driving on the weekends as well.

2 Gedanken zu “Eat more grass!

  1. Oh, the satire and strength in this post, read on. You gave me a clear-eyed glimpse of an island that in the past I romanticized based on my reading of historical novels and watching of American movies about it. In the United States, too, there is a growing problem with people who are homeless and have no where to go but the streets; and who, too often, are given the kind of useless, „expert“ advice you decry. Sometimes I wonder what happened to common sense and caring about one another.

  2. Ireland is a most diverse place, far away from the cliché but as you say our views are strongly influenced by the movies and not that much by a most often not so tempting reality. The homelessness here makes me unbelievable sad and angry. Satire sometimes helps not to loose all hope.

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