Monday, 10 July 2000
There is some tension in the Irish air. Things always can go two ways. Nothing is certain. That's certain. Why take a decision? It would only limit your freedom of choice.

It looks like Quantum mechanics (www.brittannica.com/...) is playing a game with reality here. Schrödinger's kittens (www.brittannica.com/...) must have lived here, well, al least one of them, perhaps.

  • The Irish officially converted to the metric system. Some road signs are in kilometres, some are in miles. If it shows 'km' it's in kilometers, most likely. The Irish couldn't care less, and neither could I.
  • The weather changes by the minute. When the sun is shining, it's too hot and sweaty for a coat. One minute later you would wish you had one. Most Irish don't make a choice. They wear a light sweater or jumper. In this way they war a coat, yet they don't.
  • Ireland is a small country. Yet it can take half a day to get from one place to another. The express train runs fast one minute, and crawls along the next. Some roads are a highway, but turn into a small winding path just a little bit later.
  • Guinness is a beer, yet it is not. A pint of Guinness comes in a large beer glass, it foams, and it's available in all the pubs. Yet it is not a beer, it looks like an alish coffee, mixed with something completely unknown.
  • The Irish have a special relation with the English. At first sight they are alike, with the same languages, same coin system, driving at the left side of the road, same phone ring, same greyish green clothes, same colourful houses, pubs, bookmakers, Bed & Breakfasts, bacon & eggs. But below the surface they really are different, with their ancient Gaelic culture, mixed with Christianity. Ever saw a Catholic church from the 5th century? The Irish have one, right in the centre of Loch Corrib.
  • The Irish economy is a weird combination of ancient agriculture and modern computer technology. The number of IT jobs in Dublin (www.jobserve.com/...) is astounding.
Ireland is a country of questions, not of answers. Today will be my last day here. I'll fly back to the Netherlands this afternoon. Tonight the permanent uncertainty will end. In the Netherlands even the tiniest detail has been taken care of.

Or shouldn't I? O, it's so tempting to stay for another couple of days.

Most likely till next week.