My first visit to the USA - a business trip - had me land at Boston Logan on 17 March 1988, quite early in the morning. I got to my hotel near the waterfront and slept.17 March was relatively meaningless to me; certainly, it meant nothing in the context of St Patrick. Then again, I wouldn't - at the time - have been able to tell you when St George's Day was, either. On the other hand, I was very familiar with the IRA bombing (or threatening to bomb) railway stations and almost any other landmark with lots of people in or near it. Around that time they were putting bombs in litter bins in towns as well, and killing / injuring a good many people; at was accepted as fact that in many American Irish cities, the hat was passed to raise funds.So when I woke up in the late morning, and went in search of breakfast, there I was - a young Englishman abroad, in America for the first time, and in Boston at that. Green beer. Green hats. Green everything. Thousands of people being Irish who'd never been closer than 3000 miles to the Auld Sod. Got to tell you, and confess; I was terribly intimidated with my English accent. Fortunately I remembered packing a greenish-coloured sweater that my girlfriend hated; I rushed to put it on.I walked round Boston; saw landmarks I'd only seen on TV or in films; "Cheers", naturally! Fantastic. Like being in a film. Went into a cafe / bar and a man at the bar heard my English accent told me a long, rambling, beer-fuelled tale of a friend of a friend with an Irish name, on a US passport, who'd flown to London and been taken to one side by UK Immigration who, he insisted, told his friend's friend that they didn't like "Micks" entering the UK, and they'd be watching him. Now, I imagine UK Immigration, to a non-Brit, is every bit as unpleasant as US Immigration is to a non-American, but as low as my opinion of our country sinks sometimes, I don't think we reached that nadir even in the Eighties.Naturally enough, though, by the end of the day - after a few beers, talking to friendly people - I'd had a whale of a time. Felt slightly silly about how intimidated I'd been. But I've still never seen as much green in one place again. Ever. Great fun, and never forgotten.Sorry for the long post.
Happy Saint Patrick's Day, MC. Thanks for reading and commenting.
My brother and I are Irish twins!
Everyone's an Irish twin after seven pints. Triplets after ten.Happy St. Padraig's Day, Jewel.
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