From wanderlust to Taytolust: The 18 stages of Irish emigration
People who move country undergo several stages of mental transformation
Stge 13: ‘Call me a stereotype, but right now I would do anything to neck a bottle of red lemonade, a packet of Taytos and a slice of mammy’s brown bread while wearing a Hairy Baby T-shirt.’ Photograph: Thinkstock
People who move country typically undergo several stages of mental transformation, according to the psychology journals. But Irish emigrants do things slightly differently. We have been perusing the literature in various journals and have adapted their findings to the Irish emigrant experience.
Stage 1: Joblessness in Ireland
I can’t believe Mick has moved abroad without saying goodbye. He was a really nice boss and seemed so proud of the ghost estate we were building. And I don’t care what the older lads think. I know he’ll send us our paycheques on Friday.
Stage 2: Bankerphobia
“They made me an offer I couldn’t refuse. Those f***ers put a gun to my head and said either my brains or my signature were going to be on that application form for the third mortgage. That’s how it happened. Almost exactly.”
Stage 3: Wanderlust
A credit card bill came in the post yesterday. One of my mortgage statements arrived this morning. The sooner I get out of this kip the better. It’s no country for young men.
Stage 4: Travel sickness
That last pint at 2am in Moran’s must have been a bad one. Or maybe I’m just worried that customs will find those rashers mammy packed.
Stage 5: Overseas xenophilia
I love everything about this country. My workmates in the Dirty Leprechaun; the sunburn; even Elaine’s floor is really comfortable.
Stage 6: Culture shock
Elaine’s brother didn’t need to throw me out quite so roughly. It doesn’t matter how many Facebook friends you have, it’s really hard for a young Irish guy to find place here. And that goes for jobs too. Never mind, I’m sure I’ll get my shifts back at the Dirty Leprechaun. I’ll apologise to Eddie for giving free pints all night to the local GAA team. Although I mean in fairness, it’s not every year they beat the Abu Dhabi Savages. He’s sure to understand.
Stage 7: Homesickness
What I wouldn’t give for 10 pints with Tommy in Moran’s, followed by a walk home in the rain eating soggy chips. I wonder is Marjorie Walsh still single?
Stage 8: Drunkenness
I know what I’ll do. I’ll apply to the local police force and get a job as a rollerblading cop. Why didn’t I think of this before?
Stage 9: Native lust
I’m sick of the Irish scene here. It’s so parochial. What’s the point in moving several thousand miles away to an amazing new country, only to sit around drinking Guinness and whingeing about home and the Irish banks and the crap Guinness here. I’m going to go native. After all, all the locals are totally gorgeous, and they have no clue that back home I wouldn’t be considered much of a catch.
Stage 10: Assimilation
Ariana is amazing. Some of the meals she cooks are a bit weird, but apart from that I’m really glad I moved in. Her place is in this really cool area and she’s way more chilled about stuff - just ordinary things like me staying out late with the lads, or leaving teabags in the sink - than any Irish girl I’ve ever met. I think I’m in love.
Stage 11: Breakup
I’m very upset at being kicked out by Ariana, but I felt much better after a Skype conversation with mammy, who said I should never have taken up with that “foreign cow”. She thinks Marjorie Walsh is still single, but reckons I could do better.
Stage 12: Drunkenness
It doesn’t matter that I hate U2 or that I can barely remember any of the words. That karaoke session was brilliant.
Stage 13: Taytolust
Call me a stereotype, but right now I would do anything to neck a bottle of red lemonade, a packet of Taytos and a slice of mammy’s brown bread while wearing a Hairy Baby T-shirt.
Stage 14: Irish language lessons
Ta me ag caint as Gaeilge gach Aoine le mo chairde nua. Agus who do you think is in my class? Mick from home! He’s says he’s hoping to move back soon, as the extradition case isn’t going his way anyway. He’s changed his name to Micheal - partly for cultural reasons, partly for legal reasons - and says he’s going to finish the estate, and give me and the other lads every penny he owes us. I always knew he was a sound fella.
Stage 15: Return
I clap loudly when EI-DV8 lands at Dublin airport. Nobody joins in. At arrivals I hug mammy. Nod to dad. Fist-bump little brother. I can’t believe he’s got a beard!
Stage 16: Reverse culture shock
Tommy, who was a hash dealer last time I saw him, now has a job. And a kid! With Marjorie Walsh! The HR manager at Lidl says it’s irrelevant that I was economic adviser to a prime minister overseas, but he’ll keep my CV on file. And It’s f***ing freezing here.
Stage 17: Drunkenness
Everyone in Ireland is too busy to go for 15 pints so I go by myself. It’s great to be home! For about 15 minutes. Until I start chatting to the guy at the bar, who says he works in a bank. The bouncers eventually tear me off him but not before I’ve hit him a few belts from all of the lads at the Dirty Leprechaun. I throw up in Temple Bar. Great night.
Stage 18: Wanderlust
I have shed the last of my tan and my skin has reverted to its original Celtic blue. The sooner I get out of this kip the better.