Performing art of the silent ballet in a shop

Charlie Adley

Double Vision with Charlie Adley

Sometimes it pays to be foreign. If you were born here you might forget why you love Galway and the West of Ireland. Living as a blow-in for 26 years, there still come moments when I’m reminded what it is about this place that makes me feel so comfortable and at home.

You’d want your house to be a comfortable home, so why wouldn’t you expect the same of the area you live in?

To feel comfortable outside I need to feel welcome. I need to feel that there’s very little chance of being involved in a fight or being called a Yid.

If it sounds like I’m setting my bar of expectation low, that’s because I’m cut 50/50 between cynic and idealist. I treasure my dreams while staying aware of how likely they are to come to fruition.

Dreams are so important. With hundreds of patients on trolleys, obscene sexism in rape trials and the impending crushing of Ireland’s economy by a No Deal Brexit, it can be difficult to look away from what’s wrong and appreciate the good on offer here in the West of Ireland.

That’s when the universe delivers a magical moment, reigniting our inner fires, which in Connacht are fuelled by compassion and humanity.

After a suitable period of isolation, I headed into the city to see my mates. When I haven’t spoken to anyone face to face for three days I temporarily lose quite a few social skills. Stopping for bits and pieces at a city neighbourhood shop, I realised I was struggling to acclimatise to this busy noisy real world, crammed with people and bright lights.

However pathetic it sounds, I was actually finding the narrow aisles difficult to navigate.

Sorry.

Oops.

Excuse me. Sorry.

Clutching a sandwich, a newspaper and a tub of coleslaw I joined the checkout queue, eager to get out of this crowded claustrophobic little place.

Then, as my eyes wandered to pass the time, I saw – oh Hell on Earth and the planets beyond – another queue over there, back behind the other aisle, with just as many people in it, running at right angles to my queue.

To read Charlie’s column in full, please see this week’s Galway City Tribune.

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