Friday June 15h

Dear Family & Friends,

 
Today is Friday and I am staying in Listowell, Ireland the town that Bonnie is living in. She has a small apartment above an art gallery in the center of town. Since she has to work today I spent the morning walking around town, taking a few photos and noticing the life in Ireland.
One of the great things about traveling by motorcycle with a California license plate is it does attract attention and gets people talking to you.
An elderly gentleman came up to me and asked about my trip and where I was from. Then he started to tell me his life story and it really was quite fascinating. I also got a good insight into how people from other countries see the USA.
First he told me about in his youth he bought a $99 Greyhound bus ticket and spent three months touring around the USA. He slept on the bus at night and saw almost all the states. He enjoyed the experience and got a good appreciation and insight of America.
Then he told me about wanting to be a doctor when he was young. He applied and was accepted to medical school but it was not a Catholic school (far worse a Presbyterian School!) so he was ex-communicated from the Catholic church and shunned by his family. This was in the 1960s but it is still a deeply Catholic country.
Then he told me about his terrible automobile accident that derailed his medical career but he did manage to get a degree in accounting and worked all over the world.
He told me how much he liked the USA but of course thought Trump was crazy and he did feel our country had gotten too materialistic and obsessed with money.. I think he has a point.
I really enjoyed talking to him and getting his opinions about life.. As I have always said no matter what I country I visit I always find they do some things better than us and some things not as well.  The simpler less materialistic life in Ireland I would tend to agree is better, the rigid dogmatic religious life not so good.
Tomorrow we are off on some site seeing trips.
 
Jason

The local Listowell newspaper featuring Bonnie and other artist coming to town….. big news!

From such humble beginnings come great art!

The “Master” at work in the studio above the art gallery where she is living. First floor is a art gallery with art for sale, next floor is the working studio, and then the next two floors are the living quarters.

Bonnie’s latest project.. I am very proud of her.. 🙂

After a hard days work we went across the street to the local pub for a gin and tonic and a traditional Irish meal.. Love seeing my wife smiling at me,,,, tells me once in a while I am doing something right..  😉

First course was a large mushroom, stuffed with bacon, on top of a salad.. good!

Our friend Mirelle had a traditional roast Lamb dinner.

Bonnie had delicious traditional Fish and Chips with no so delicious mushy peas.

I had a very traditional Irish Stew with lamb and of course a gin and tonic..

Here is a local market touting how good eggs go with coffee because no one could figure that out without the sign…

Here is the wine section of the market.. Notice the “New World” section? That is wine from any part of the world that is not Europe but NO CALIFORNIA wines.!!?? What are we not new enough??

Here is today’ Gallic lesson.. Certainly an important word to know..

A local farmers market right outside the door from where we are staying. Notice how fresh the eggs are? They still have feathers on them!!

Lots of delicious berries..

A local auto parts store, had to go check it out..

Have mentioned that Ireland has a LOT of pubs and B&Bs?

You know you are living in a rural town when the magazine rack has at least 20 different magazines on tractors and sheep.

Even the local hardware store is quaint.

A local poet and writer from Listowell.

Love her smile!

This is the art gallery Bonnie is living above.

Such a small quaint old fashion town but still modern technology is creeping into the local market with self scanning check out..

You can hardly walk more than 50 yards between pubs. Another Gallic lesson for you..

To all my Irish decent friends back home. If you have a last name like McCarthy, Murphy, O’Conner, or Sullivan be thankful you don’t live here. If I yelled out your name half the country would turn around..

I guess I don’t qualify to get a haircut here..

Even in Ireland foods from all over the world are available.. Even my home town doesn’t have Armenian food!

The local version of my hometown’s coffee shop, the Blackhorse. People gather here for mid morning coffee and conversations.

A local youth drum band right outside my window. It was charming to listen to them for the first hour or two but…..

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