March 7, 2011

Northern Ireland

So St. Patrick's Day is around the corner and it got me reminiscing about my first time out of the country in 2000.  I was about to enter the 10th grade I think? and my dad and younger sister and I took an 11 day trip around Ireland and Northern Ireland. I met up with my long time pen pal Trevor. (also an artist now!) His family was so kind and generous, I still remember the strawberry rhubarb pie his mom made, and his sister talking about gymnastics.  They ran a market, so the fruit was incredibly fresh.  I should really drop them a line!
some 35mm snaps from my disposable

I will confess that I did witness a very scary thing in Belfast.  We were at a shopping center and I separated from my family to walk to Marks & Spencer.  There was a small crowd of people forming a U shape around a brick wall, but I couldn't see what they were staring at.

A small band of thugs, who almost looked a bit like greasers from the 50s, were biting on the knuckles of a young man. Literally biting his fist.  A few things struck me as bizarre -

Firstly, the crowd was incredibly close to them, and the men weren't intimidated or scared off at all - in fact they were oblivious.  Secondly, the crowd was horrified and shouted, but no one took the initiative to stop them.  Finally after punching the young man in the stomach, they sneered at him, smacked a nasty smile over yellow teeth and left him to slowly slide down the brick wall.

I distinctly remember an old woman, a petite little lady, kneeling down to him and taking his hand in her glove.  It was so kind, even though she neither said nor did nothing, just sat with him.

Perfect strangers.

I'll never understand the Northern Ireland conflict fully, and was too young to comprehend what natives were trying to explain.  But the incident left a remarkable impression upon on me.

All I remember was the comment "There are people who benefit from these kinds of things".  I'm not sure if I want to know who.


  1. Wondering Location !! really fantastic photo's and great your idea .so thanks

  2. I've always wanted to visit Ireland. Do you ever think you'll make a return trip? It sounds like you had a lovely time, apart from the thing you saw in Belfast. Scary things happen all over, I suppose.

  3. Yes, I really want to go back some day! The people are so friendly, the countryside is so breathtaking, it was much more good than bad.

    It's a wonderful place, you should definitely go! Especially the beach place up there, County Antrim - AMAZING!

  4. Your photos looks incredible. When I read your last paragraph I thought it was classic Genovese Syndrome. It happens everywhere. Human nature is such a strange thing isn't it?

  5. Your photos are so dreamy! And that experience is quite terrifying D:

  6. Wth, BITING?! That is so odd...and gross :O Those pictures look beautiful! I tried to convince my family to go to Ireland or Scotland for family vacation, but everyone wants to go to Hawaii :[

  7. Such beautiful pictures. I'll admit though, i'l nvr care for st paddys day, and when u live in chicago YOULL UNDERSTAND..

    u have such an artist eye, even 11 yrs ago :D