Usually when I’m in Asia and tell people I’m from Northern Ireland they cock their head and give me a blank stare, wondering what magical land it is that I have just invented. Other times they think I mean Iceland and begin talking about snow. Not this guy. He asked me where I was from and when I said Northern Ireland he just started saying “Gerry Adams” over and over again. Then he started doing hand movements to pretend he had a beard. I swear he must have said Gerry Adams about 10 times and nothing else.
Oddly, this somewhat surreal experience ties in with a post that fellow Northern Irish travel blogger Abbi Morrison wrote on her site, Life in a Rucksack, entitled, “Do travellers from Northern Ireland know their own culture?” Many people around the world are not aware Northern Ireland even exists. I’m not exaggerating. To make matters worse, I myself never quite know how to describe myself – Northern Irish, Irish, British… all three? It’s funny how a random tuktuk driver in Sri Lanka can equate Northern Ireland with Gerry Adams – and so it got me thinking what I associate it with. Potato bread? Cider? Answers on a postcard to Kandy, please.
Read Abbi’s post here.