Why Ireland, they ask me

This year, I had the privilege of going to Oxford for work-related meetings. Now- why would it be a privilege if one had to work? You must know that the kind of “work” I do back home and “work” in Oxford isn’t quite exactly the same. Why, am I allowed to lounge like a degenerate in torn jeans, flip-flops and a rock t-shirt at the office? No. But I get to do that at Oxford. Enough said.

Tum ti tum dum and my meetings are over- and lo and behold, for fuck’s sake, I might as well travel the land a little. No? I chose Ireland and the general folk ask me “Why?!” There lies before me the hot sultry paradise of Positano. The romantic chic corners of Paris. The tanned wonders of Barcelona. But no, I chose a country famed for Guinness, grey skies and rain in the summer and leaping leprechauns. It sounds silly to admit it now that I’m here- but I will.

And what could that possibly mean to me? There isn’t a part of me remotely Irish, I have no connection to the land and up until last year, I couldn’t bear the taste of Guinness. I grew up well-read, learning not only about mine, but also Greek and Celtic culture and music through books and the Internet- but why that? I’m not entirely sure. I’m not the least bit interested in my Chinese heritage and feel no compulsion to go to China to “discover” my roots. It puzzles me that I had this longing to visit a land that would never be mine.

But at Dun Aengus- I knew. Standing above the towering cliffs with the waves crashing beneath, the sea changing its colours, the pale blue at the shore deepening gradually out in the open water, set off by the occasional flash of white of a sea gull- I knew.

I had no business here but I knew the force that drew me out to embrace the wind.