To your door…

When you travel a bit it’s kinda weird what you miss. Pork products obviously, but then other stuff that you never appreciated. Church bells on Sunday, daffodils, cherry blossom, a wee dander down the town, people who understand your accent, people who know your religion by your name, cut grass, lazy Sundays, the fear of running into your Ma’s mate down the pub, and thon bitch from school who was good looking but is now a cow. (She was always a cow, but her good looks then..gave her grace)
Yea, big cities do that, they kinda cut away everything that decided who you were, big cities allow you to become a blank page. I ran away to a big city at 20, London, I loved it. But jumping a few borders and striking out into the unknown is different. They speak English in London, they have churches and daffodils and cut grass. My Ma’s mate was  not on the horizon but I’m damn sure her sisters-brothers-cousin was…. and word would get back. It still wasn’t free.
I wasn’t a young thing when I made the big move, you know, like out of Europe, but I think that’s for the best, well for me anyway. I don’t think I could’ve coped before, I really had no idea of how cosseted small town rural life can make you. It gives you comfort, you’re among your own, but it stifles, it stifles so bad.  

Northern Ireland was always an us’uns and them’uns, I came from a pretty liberal family so I was never an “us” or a “them” . I’m thankful for that now, but it did make it really fecking complicated as a teenager.
I grew up in a little fairy land created by my dad, “Mairead, just work hard, be honest and stand up for those that need a hand” I was the eldest of 5, so there was a lot of standing up to do….there was always someone who needed a hand, and I naively thought that someone would do likewise if I needed one….my dad was a good man.
I’ve been fortunate, Ive never really needed a hand, I’ve got a hubby who has my back, three super smart children with values that I could only aspire to, they humble me. If they’re my legacy then so be it, I’ve done my bit, they’re awesome. But, but, there are people who do need a hand, I don’t care what religion you are, they are, if people need a hand then help. Feck this whole religion shite, if they’re hurting then help, its as simple as that.
Oh they’re too far away, oh that not not my responsibility oh they’re brown, oh they’re Muslim, oh they’re native Americans, oh they’re LGBT, oh they’re Protestant, not catholic, oh they’re Buddhist, oh they’re Hindu….feck-it they’re people and they need a hand. 
I guess what I’m trying to say is that with age comes a little understanding. If you challenge yourself you can get a different view, travel really helps. If you step outside your comfort zone rather than sitting on your own back door step you will realise that all families have the same hopes and dreams for their kids. Now when I say travel I’m not talking…..
A fortnight in Benidorm, or a stag weekend in Prague….how about Beirut…? It’s party central there, an amazing place. Fuck your woman Le Pen, and her headscarf, thon was a publicity stunt, Beirut is fun, welcoming and for the Irish it feels incredibly like home. You’ve got a broken country that has produced a population that are politically savvy, they know you have to vote early, and vote often….they also won’t be swayed by a political representative that’s a reality TV star, unlike some I could mention.
I’m feeling invigorated at moment, sure, America is ripping its self apart, maybe that needed to happen, Trump is an ill wind but the people are “woke” as they say. You don’t appreciate what you have until its taken. All those rights that were fought for, all those people who who put right before wrong, they’ll be churning in their grave. Stand up, don’t be the good girl/boy cos your mums friend is watching, be you, be strong and make your voice heard, you’re in the big city now, make it count. 
Or don’t, because hate brings these bastards to your door
 

Bye, Slainte, masalama, namaste 

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5 thoughts on “To your door…

  1. aliza101 says:

    Mairead, this is one of your best posts. Thank you for your musings on travel and openheartedness.

  2. aliza101 says:

    Mairead, this post is one of your best. I really appreciate your musings on travel and openheartedness.

  3. barbara howard says:

    Beautiful post. I shared the last part on my FB page. We Americans are mortified by the thug who is in charge right now.
    I lived in Cairo the same time you did. I am sorry we never met.

  4. Evelyn Hogan says:

    Great to see you pop up again. Looking forward to more.

  5. paul smyth says:

    Hi Mairead, I’m back in Cairo after 7 years of relative luxury in Abu Dhabi. Your “Irisheyes” always kept me and Lesley entertained, and we followed you even after we left for Abu Dhabi….. till you buggered off to India. We’d been here previously for 9.5 years from 1997 to 2007 on the last “Gig”. I came back to Kai Row 20 months ago. Bit different from when I left. I live in Ma’adi (again), Lesley will not visit, and I carry a C2 Taser on my belt, a Gerber “Ghost Strike” punch knife (around my neck) and a pepper spray in my pocket (I jest yea not) – but then again I work (manage) two steel plants – one in Beni Suef (150 clicks due south of Cairo – and not recommended on the Dot GOV Dot UK sites at all !!!. We pay huge baksheesh to Sheikh Mohamed – one of the bedouin tribal chiefs for “Security” – and I don’t mean the guys in blue shirts that man the gates – buy hey ho – it works fine. Lovely chap too. Don’t understand a thing he says when he passes (unchecked) past the guys (in blue shirts) and rocks up at my office – but a gentle man nevertheless. I’m half Paddy as you will probably know from the surname spelling (Dad was from near Clonmel in Tipp – sadly lost him just before I came back here – and he was thrilled that I was coming back – Abu Dhabi was a bitch of a time for me – the last 3 years anyway). He was almost 97 when I lost him, and he was here in Egypt during WWII, based near Ismalia during the North Africa campaign, and we re-visited his old stomping ground in (I think) 2000 during one of his visits. I plied him with beer over several nights, and extracted as much of his “Life story” as I could. Think you would like the part about Egypt (and probably him running away from Ireland in 1936 as an 18 year old). His passport showed that he was a “British Subject” rather than a “British Citizen” and I insisted that he lived to 100, so we could see if Liz sent him a letter, and the bugger let me down (and would laugh if he heard me say that – trust me), Sharp as a razor till the day I lost him. Thassit it kiddo. Lemme know if you need status reports from “Yer marn un the greund” – I could be “Half Irish One eye looking behind me in Kai Row” 🙂 Take care. Cheers Paul Smyth

    From: irisheyesoncairo To: paul_m_smyth@yahoo.com Sent: Thursday, February 23, 2017 3:49 PM Subject: [New post] To your door… #yiv8230860357 a:hover {color:red;}#yiv8230860357 a {text-decoration:none;color:#0088cc;}#yiv8230860357 a.yiv8230860357primaryactionlink:link, #yiv8230860357 a.yiv8230860357primaryactionlink:visited {background-color:#2585B2;color:#fff;}#yiv8230860357 a.yiv8230860357primaryactionlink:hover, #yiv8230860357 a.yiv8230860357primaryactionlink:active {background-color:#11729E;color:#fff;}#yiv8230860357 WordPress.com | maireadhoey posted: “When you travel a bit it’s kinda weird what you miss. Pork products obviously, but then other stuff that you never appreciated. Church bells on Sunday, daffodils, cherry blossom, a wee dander down the town, people who understand your accent, people who kn” | |

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