By official vote I am Irish. That's what most of the patients/staff at the walk-in centre tell me. Apparently my attempts at communication with the Geordies has left me with a "lilt" and my "ginger complexion" isn't helping.
But on St. Patrick's Day we're all Irish, aren't we? So Ryan and I donned our green sweaters Monday and headed off to school and work. An NHS inspector came to the clinic and I wished him a Happy St Paddy's as I took him to the main office. He replied that St. Patrick's Day was actually on Saturday this year because Holy Week is so early. "The shamrock must never cross the palm" he purred in his thick Irish brogue.
So I felt silly. No one else was wearing green and my coworkers thought I was crazy when I threatened to pinch them. Is the St. Patrick's Day I'm used to an American invention? Not entirely. As I waited for my bus home (at 7pm mind you) a very drunk man wearing a shamrock hat asked me if I was single, and when I replied stated "Well that's a shame. A real shame. Tell you what, I'll celebrate for the both of us...he's a lucky man..." the shot me a wink I'm sure was meant to be charming, before staggering down the street.
We met up with Ryan's classmates to hit the pubs. Our chosen target was O'Neills, a semi-cheesy Irish-themed chain filled to the brim with drunks by the time we arrived at 10. It was also coated in spilled Guiness and broken pint glasses. We spent an eternity waiting for drinks and sat directly under a speaker which seemed prone to outbursts of blue grass music (?) But we still had a pretty good time shouting at eachother above the din.
The drunk parade as we waited for the bus was less impressive. Not many people out, I guess that St Patrick's still isn't as big as your average weekend. Then again, maybe they all got the Palm Sunday memo and celebrated on the REAL St. Paddy's.