Ireland is a nice country to visit.
The people are friendly and the Guinness is good.
I realise however, that I might have put some of you off with my tales of Tourist Shooting [one of our national sports]. So, just for you nice people who read my blatherings, I’m going to give some pointers on How Not to Look Like a Tourist. This could save your life, so read carefully.
Irish people do not wear shorts, unless on the beach. Nor do they wear coats, unless it’s p*ssing out of the heavens. Loud colours are frowned upon, unless you are female or have female inclinations. The general rule is ‘dress scruffy’. A dab of cow-sh*t on the footwear is also good. Irish people never, ever wear Aran Sweaters. These were invented purely for ripping off Americans, and are a dead [sic] giveaway.
Never stop to read a road sign. All Irish people know that Irish road signs point in the wrong direction anyway, and ignore them. Anyone examining a road sign is a tourist, by definition.
Never ask for directions. You will more than likely end up over a cliff, or up in the bogs. If you are really lost, then be cunning. If you want to find the way to [say] Killarney, then stop someone and say “Jayzus, I need to be at a wedding in Killarney and I’m running late. What’s the quickest way?”
If you have non-Irish registration plates on your car – remove them. If you feel naked without them, then rob an Irish set off a parked car. You must also learn to drive like the Irish. Never indicate. Always hog the overtaking lane. Always drive too fast. Never take a bend on the correct side of the road. Always drive like you have just drunk a bottle of whiskey. Actually, to be on the safe side, it’s probably better to drink a bottle of whiskey before venturing anywhere.
This is a tricky one. An accent is a complete giveaway. Though with the current influx of immigrants, you are a bit safer. American accents are still not tolerated, so Americans should not speak at all. And if you must speak, keep your voices down. For some reason, tourists are always the noisiest table in the pub. Or anywhere else, for that matter.
If you come across a nice view, or something scenic, then, for God’s sake, just grunt. Loud exclamations of appreciation, or telling Harry to get the video camera are out.
That’s enough for now.
I’ll address the likes of Pub Etiquette at a later stage.