Saturday, 29 March 2008

You Know You're in Ireland When...

I ran into my new friend the other day....I was late from work, screaming hungry and needed to get a few ingredients for dinner. As I approached the checkout stands I'd thought I'd grab a sugar high snack for the road when I was reminded that I was in Ireland.

Where, Irish marketers, well, they haven't yet met the average consumer. 'Cause the checkout stands, them there are virtually void of any last minute purchase. A marketing mishap. Euros just waiting to be gobbled and yet remain a missed opportunity.

The checkout stands are barren, unwelcoming, kiosks ready for nothing but a clerk's scrutinizing glance wondering how and why I would buy something so oddly shaped and purple. It would mean they have to look up its species on the scanner. It would undoubtly cause them to gasp at the 2.39 that lit up the screen. I know, cause it's happened time and time again.

"Oh, dat's so dear! And t'was it?"

"Eggplant. Aubergine. It's a vegetable." I'd say proudly.

"It's good for you." Trying to convince the cashier it's hip to be healthy.

"Well, I should hope so at dat price." Still shaking her head at the price.

"Actually, it's less than a pint of beer and feeds the whole family." Take dat, Mrs. Ireland.

But before seeking out my free abuse criticizing clerk, I quickly turned on my heels in search of the candy snacks aisle.

And there I saw and took in my biteful of savory irony that would fill me with laughter for the whole drive home.

Only in Ireland.

A taster's stand with Grandma Shamrock handing out the 5.99 wine-bottle-of-the-day samples of wine in plastic dixie cups.
In a mall, in a business park, where presumably all the shoppers are drivers.
In a country in the midst of a national debate on how to curb drivers from drinking.
Free wine tasting at the grocery store.
Go figure.

I reached into my bag to see if I had my camera. Frowning when I realized I didn't, Grandma Shamrock caught my eye and offered up a free sampling.

"No, no. No thank you."

I'll just take my 2.39 euros worth of mystery goodness and be gone.


Janice said...

no, not only in Ireland, we do that in New Zealand too - its quite common.

katelnorth said...

When I was visiting Cathi last summer, I had to tell the clerk (who admittedly was only about 16) what courgettes were. True. But they sell these things, so someone must buy them, right?