Thursday, April 05, 2007

Citizens of the World

Le Monde Diplomatique, the trimmed-down, English-language version of the French newspaper that gives you very little French news, has a great article about the changes the economic boom and subsequent rounds of immigration have wrought in Ireland.

My favorite part is when the reporter asks a group of young Africans in the Dublin suburbs (more children of immigrants than immigrants by the sound of it) about dating other young native Irish boys and girls:

They answer in Dublin idiom, in broad Irish accents with African lilts, and roar laughing with recognition at each other’s observations.

Abraham: “I find Irish girls really attractive, they’re drop dead gorgeous, I have to give them that. But for our case, trying to be in a relationship with Irish girls, it’s kind of impossible. I’m not saying they’re too demanding, but we have curfews imposed in [our] hostels. We have limited funds – the benefits we get, $20 a week, you can’t even bring a girl out to the movies, ’cause you’d be broke by the end of the night. The only cheap thing around here is to get a cuppa.”

Zainab: “It’s hard for me to go out with an Irish guy. You know what they talk about? You’re, like, going out with him, and the first thing, he’s like, ‘I’m horny’. What the hell is that? That’s a complete put off, you don’t want to talk to them any more, you just go, ‘what do you see me as, like a sex toy or something?’ It’s just so ridiculous, no respect or nothing. They go to clubs, and [they’ve] just met somebody, and [they] just start kissing. What the hell is that? I would really like to meet a very good Irish guy, but the culture is too different, they way they have relationships is just too different to the way we see relationships. No matter how educated they are. I don’t know why they are all the same like that.”

Gorgeous Irish girls, horny Irish boys, polite and demure young Africans still trying to understand the strangest of Europeans. Sounds like the craic is 90 to me.

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