Cork

Nächster Zwischenstopp: Cork aka Corcaigh, zweitgrößte Stadt der Republik Irland, Kulturhauptstadt Europas 2005. Unter dem bemerkenswerten Motto „Europa von den Rändern her erneuern“ stellt man hauptsächlich die 10 neu im Jahre 2004 hinzugekommenen EU-Länder vor. (Man weiß in Irland, wovon man spricht…)

Cork selber ist im Gegensatz zu den irischen Menschen, die wir trafen, nicht unbedingt charmant zu nennen. Einer der interessantesten Orte ist die Markthalle im englischen Stil. Es sei denn, man zählt die zwischen Cork und der Küste liegenden Orte Fota und Cobh (das ehemalige Queenstown) mit hinzu, was ich bei der Fotoauswahl mache…

Cork, berühmte Menschen lebten dort!

    

Cork, auch hier regnet es nicht immer!

    

Cork, Straßenmusiker spielen Charlie „The Bird“ Parker!

Cork, eine Folgeerscheinung des „Celtic Tiger“. Apple soll der größte Arbeitgeber in Cork sein, mehrere weltweit agierende Softwarefirmen haben ihre CallCenter in Irland platziert. Hier ein Beispiel für ein eBüro.

When the Irish embraced capitalism they embraced it with enthusiasm they used to have for the church: hence companies like Ryanair, whose brash chief executive Michael O’Leary now owns 51% of Ireland’s known reserves of self-confidence.

It used to be the case – or so it seemed – that the Irish were not that interested in money. The feeling was entirely mutual. Money, at least in the form of foreign investment, wasn’t that interested in them either. Agricultural and underdeveloped, Ireland used to have a perennial unemployment problem, wich was only kept under control by mass emigration. The 1980s were a bad time in many countrys but, in 1987, if Ireland had been a house, the banks would have possessed it.

Then everything changed. Around 1990, Ireland caught the wave of a global upturn. The term ‚Celtic Tiger‘ was heard for the first time, a mutant form of the Asian Tiger already transforming economies in that region. Unemployment fell to nothing. Emigration stopped. For the first time, immigrants started arriving, to fill the job vacancies.

A decade on, the Irish are workaholics, and nobody is more surprised than them. With a huge deficit of infrastructure like roads, but at last the money redress it, the country is a building site, adding to the traffic jams that are now a feature of everyday life. More and more Irish people can afford cars, and they spend half the day in them, going to and from work. Luckily, the mobile phone was invented alongside the boom, or the country would have ground to halt under the weight of success.

The debate about general Irish economic policy often boils down to a choice between American free-market economics and the European Union’s social model, with high taxes and high levels of public service. Boston versus Berlin, in short. In practice, Boston is winning the argument hands down. Berlin may have paid for Ireland’s new roads through E.U. funds. It may even have made the BMWs that clog them. But the cars are more likely to have been paid for by jobs in American high-tech companies, many of wich – from Yahoo! to Google – now have their European headquarters in Ireland. And it doesn’t hurt from American point of view that the Irish speak English.

Fota, Pavillon „18 Turns“ von Daniel Libeskind vor dem Fota House (Tisch und Stühle sind natürlich nicht von Libeskind.)

    

Cobh, im Hafen, ohne Titanic! Vegetarier haben es in Irland gut, wenn man Guinness als Grundnahrungsmittel akzeptiert! 😉

To the despair of gourmets, the definitive Irish meal is the fried breakfast. And reflecting to the political divisions on the island, this comes in two forms: the ‚full Irish‘, wich is served throughout the Republic and in Catholic areas of the north; and the ‚Ulster Fry‘, wich is generally confined to the Protestant north-east.

These are not vegetarian meals, to put it mildly. Both contain bacon, eggs, sausages, and black and white puding (made from parts of animals you’d rather not think about). Liver and kidneys may be thrown in, when available. Fried potato cakes and fried bread are optional.

As with many differences that the Irish consider defining, it may be difficult for outsiders to tell the breakfasts apart. The truth is, nobody in Ireland knows the difference between them either. There’s a suspicion that the Ulster Fry may have 10% extra cholestorol, in keeping with the Protestant work ethic. But if you eat enough of them, they’ll both kill you in the long run.

Alle Zitate sind (abgetippt) aus dem Xenophobe’s Guide to the Irish.

One Comment

  1. Julia Freitag, 2. September 2005

    du hast fast dasselbe foto vom hafen in cobh gemacht wie ich vor 7 jahren!! (ich schicks dir mal bei gelegenheit)
    klingt, als hättet ihr eine schöne zeit gehabt…

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