Friday, March 19, 2010

Explaining American Holidays ..or Maybe it was Irish....I'm Not Really Sure

Sudanese Official:  Did you have a nice time on your vacation?

Me: Oh yes! It was fabulous...so much grass and trees.  It was just lovely.

Sudanese Official:  silence

Me: Oh....well, Khartoum is really nice and all, I mean, the people are soooo friendly.  I had a great time and all, but I missed Sudan and was ready to come back (no I wasn't).

Sudanese Official: Uh-hmmm...well....

Me: Luckily, the Embassy is hosting a St. Patrick's Day Party tonight...you know, to ease my transition from vacation back to work.  I mean, you can't just go back cold turkey you know.

Sudanese Official:  Cold turkey??

Me: (Jebus Dude!  Don't you have to leave???)  Umm.....just jump right back in to being in Sudan....

Sudanese Official: (offended look)

Me: (SHIT!) not IN Sudan, you know....work....ummm...working.

 (awkward silence)

Me: I'm umm....I'm lazy.

Sudanese Official:  (cough) What is this St. Patrick's Day??

Me: Oh?  Well, it's a day dedicated to St. Patrick...he's a catholic Saint.....from.....Ireland....or the UK...wait! It might have been just Ireland. I can never remember which part is which...it's too confusing.  But he's an Irish Saint. ...   He wore green...

Sudanese Official:  What did he do?

Me:  Ummm...I think...ummm....well, he was a saint.  Good guy.  Helped the Irish, and maybe the British, oh....probably not the British.  Nobody really knows for sure.  They weren't the UK at that time, so he might have helped the British, but he probably didn't know they were British. 

Sudanese Official: But what did he do??

Me;  Umm....I think he gave the Irish people beer and green clovers.  Ummm.. they didn't have any.  Maybe a lucky charm....

Sudanese Official:  (silence)

Me:  Well, maybe not green beer...I think that's new.  But ...the important part is that we have a party.  And it is fun.  ....Ummm...I can't wait.  ....heh heh hmm....should be fun.  yaay.

Sudanese Official:  So you drink alcohol for a religious holiday?

Me:  Well, yes.  It's an IRISH  holiday.  It's their way.  I'm not here to judge.  But it's not just that...I mean, we wear green and there is traditional food...

Sudanese Official:  What is the traditional food?


Me:  (SHIT!)  Ummm....there's corned beef and cabbage and ....ummm...Irish Stew....ummm...boiled potatoes.

Sudanese Official:  Corned beef?  What is this corned beef????

Me:  Oh...corned beef?  Well, it's beef...that is corned.  They corn it....you know, the beef.  Corned... 

Sudanese Official:  You mean they put corn with beef?

Me:  No.  It's corned.  I dunno.  The Irish like to corn their beef.  ummm...it's not not yucky.

Sudanese Official: Not yucky??

Me:   Well, I'm not sure it's really good per se...but it's not BAD.  I mean, I don't choose it most times, but I think cause I'm not really sure how to make it.  And I forget it's there most of the time.  It's kinda salty.  Like jerky, but not hard and chewy.  But with cabbage.

Sudanese Official:  So you drink and eat salty beef?  To honor a saint??  I don't understand.  How does that honor him?

Me:  I mean....it's not that bad. I mean, you make it sound like it's silly or something.  It's not.  That's not ALL...we also....well, we....you know....we wear green.

Sudanese Official: Oh.

(Silence)

Sudanese Official:  Well then...have a nice time. 

Me:  (SHIT!  Sorry America...and Ireland...I'll stop talking to people....)

28 comments:

Frau said...

Omg too funny!My German teacher wanted me to explain St. Patrick's day to her...I stumbled, you did much better. My Catholic we don't question we just do...so drink the green beer damnit!

Mom in High Heels said...

Awesome. You pretty much summed it up. We drink beer, wear green and eat corned beef (well, not me, as I'm a non-meat eater, but others do) and cabbage. How exactly does this honor St. Patrick (who was born in Wales and taken to Ireland as a slave, BTW)? Not a clue. But it sure is fun. Maybe if the Sudanese learned to drink on their holidays they'd be a lot happier.

zuzula said...

I think you explained it perfectly - maybe you inspired him!

An Open Heart said...

(giggle, snort, giggle, snort some more, giggle, gafaw, tears streaming down my face, giggle) OMG! I'm going to chuckle about that ALL DAY.....


S

A Daring Adventure said...

Oh. My. Soul!! I am sitting here screaming with laughter!

You are the funniest thing!!

What a great story!

blognut said...

Heh. I would've said the same thing.

Glad it was you and not me!

franzi said...

FUNNY!!!

Nanc Twop said...

Silly Michel...

Everyone knows that dear St. Paddy drove the snakes out of Ireland.

And then he drove back with those cases of green beer... ;-)

rxBambi said...

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! LMFAO!

BECAUSE THE BRITISH WEREN'T IN THE UK YET!!

BWAHAHAHAHAHA!

SNORTING! AND PEEING! DAMMIT!

Juli Ryan said...

I used to know things. And I could explain them. What happened?

Fragrant Liar said...

I think wearing green is the most important part. Andsince you need to be completely green inside and out, you need to ingest green beer. It is indeed their way, and now it is ours.

I thought you handled that well, Michel.

Anonymous said...

maybe you should have listen to sister Tresa when you were in school. Or every thursday when you went to mass. I'm sure Father George said something about it at one time or another

Jason, as himself said...

"Oh...corned beef? Well, it's beef...that is corned. They corn it....you know, the beef. Corned..."

As usual. You cracked my ass UP!!!

I so love you.

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mo.stoneskin said...

I was not aware that St Patrick gave people beer, but I suppose that DOES make perfect sense.

lisa said...

Wearing green and he beer is the best part of S. Patrick's day

tera said...

Ha! I'll bet he doesn't ask you any more questions ever! :)

St Patrick drove the snakes out of Ireland. Now if he'd just come here and drive them out of Washington DC we'd be good.

Wait. Did I say that out loud?

Susan said...

Gawd. I can't wait to hear your explanation of Easter.

Anna Stubbs said...

That was awesome. Can you explain any more holidays to the Sudanese. I have quite a few Sudanese friends here in America, so I know the feeling of lost in translation sort of thing. Keep up the great posts.

Anonymous said...

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Katy said...

OMG I am dying here! How would one go about explaining corned beef to someone? Hmmm...

TechnoBabe said...

Jason sent me here and I am laughing so much my side hurts. This is the best explanation without an explanation I have ever read. You are a gifted writer. And you are sorta funny too.

The Girl Next Door said...

Found you through Jason and am getting my daily abs workout laughing them off at you. Awesome. Can't wait to read more!

Connie said...

Yea, how do explain it?? All our facts are screwy... St Patrick drove the snakes out of Ireland, but not actual snakes.. think 'Pagans', and his color was blue, not green... the 'wearing of the green' came from wearing shamrocks - 3 leaf (holy trinity) NOT 4 leaf clovers... :p WE can't even figure it out!!! What the heck... more green beer please, and back to pinching those who aren't dressed properly! :D

mysecondjournal said...

OMG.. that is HYSTERICAL!

Stephanie said...

Burundians are a little confused as to why Americans celebrate an Irish holiday that none of us can fully explain, but green is one of the national colors and they like to drink beer, so they've decided to run with it.

Anonymous said...

Where do you come up with stuff? I so look forward to reading it every day. I can't get enough of your writting.

sb.marianna said...

I pity that sudanese official!