Welcome to our show today, Francis! Please tell our listeners a little about yourself?
I am Francis Morran. I am from the Republic of Ireland. It is an island in Northwest Europe. The capital and largest city is Dublin, which is located on the eastern side of the island. I came to Vietnam last September.
What is the weather like in Ireland? Is it true that it rains all year round in your country?
Yep, that’s right! My country rains for three hundred days a year and the hottest it can get in my country is 30 degree and it may only happen twice a year. We have cold rainy weather most of the year. The coldest weather maybe like freezing and we get snow maybe once a year.
Three hundred days a year! Are you kidding me? Does the rainy weather bother the Irish people at all?
It rains and rains all year round but we say that actually it helps to shape us over centuries because you have to develop a sense of humor to be able to laugh at yourself, and to be able to not take things so seriously all the time. It doesn’t really affect the everyday life because we don’t really get extreme weather. It usually just rains and rains. But like Vietnam we have a very green country, a lot of fields and fields. You have rice fields we have fields for cows and pigs and other animals.
I guess you guys don’t need to watch the weather forecast because it’s gonna rain anyway, right?
Well you just get use to it. I know it sounds crazy for so many people to experience it. But for example it can be sunny outside but maybe in 20 minutes it gonna start raining. You can wear a T-shirt and short but for sure you gonna bring a rain jacket with you because you know what gonna happen and that’s just the reality of life there.
With all that rainy weather, there must be some good drinks to cheer you up. From what I have heard, Irish people are pretty famous for drinking.
Yes, we are famous for a drink called Guinness. I don’t know if you know this drink. That is what we are famous for. I think you can get that at some places in Hanoi. It is alcoholic. It is like a desert of beer. It is how we describe it. It is called the stout. It is the black drink with white creamy head, it is very beautiful.
Do Irish people have Guinness everyday or just on special occasions?
Most Irish people have Guinness every day. We like drinking. You may have heard of Jameson whiskey too, it is my country famous drink. It is like you drink tea here in Vietnam, you might offer somebody, traditionally, not so much with my age group anymore but alcohol would have been a big thing when you welcome somebody in your home. You can have a drink. You can go to the pub to socialize and have a couple of drinks. Any meals, dinners you can have some wine or some whiskey. It is more like a socializing thing in my country.
Good drinks should go with good food, so what are some signature dishes of Ireland?
Actually we don’t have any signature dishes. It is something I can’t boast about so much. We don’t have a great traditional of fine cuisine, because my country now we are very economically strong but actually history was very poor. So we are famous for a stew. Basically you get whatever you can find, put it in the pot of water with potato, meat, carrot, broccoli, cabbage. You can put it all in the pot, the leftovers and you can make it like a soup but much thicker. Sometimes you can add a little of flour to thicken it as well. My country was typically poor so people had to use whatever food that had not waste.
Ireland is an island, so there should be a lot of seafood there. Am I right?
Yeah, we have a lot of fish. We have a very strong fishing industry. We also have a lot of rivers in my country so we are very famous for salmon, wild salmon, lobster and all types of fish.
Thank you very much for talking to us today. Next week, we’ll share some more interesting cultural facts about other countries around the world. For VOV24/7’s Culture Rendezvous, this is Minh My saying: Goodbye!