CC BY-SA krozruch

On Becoming Irish-ish


It seems a long time ago that I began to listen to The Irish Podcast. I had been Irish for a year by then; approaching my fortieth year on the planet I had lived just over thirty of them in Britain and getting on for six in the Czech Republic. I may have been in Ireland, mainly in Mayo with spells in Galway, for a total of one or two months. I had seen Brexit coming as soon as the referendum had been declared. Suffering from ADHD, living in an unfurnished garret flat in Vršovice, I had the passport application form on my cluttered and dusty desk for months before I got it in, and, with some justification, sincerely doubted my ability to get it filled in correctly. That had been my experience of British styles of bureaucracy at least, and I had by then been sacked from a rampantly bureaucratic British organisation which, registered on the isle of Jersey, didn't pay tax. I had been processing what it meant to be Irish, what it meant to be here in the Czech Repuublic, what it meant even to be in Europe at this time, rather more than was likely to be fully healthy since the Brexit result and my passport which came at around the same time. It was all especially symbolic for reasons I will go into elsewhere, but who could I talk to about it? All of this seemed so abstract to people. The change from Czechoslovakia to The Czech Republic was a reference point, but didn't mean so very much to people in Prague. And so I was glad to come across - probably, for my sins, on Twitter - a podcast that was meant for people just like me. I love podcasts. If I struggle, truth be told, to read books when I am not regularly commuting on trams or sitting in cafes, I listen to podcasts often while I am cooking and walking, or indeed doing more or less anything physically but not mentally taxing.

marginálie - opening doors since 2016