There is nothing quite like going home when you’re a Culchie. Escaping the polluted air of the Big Smoke for the fresh smell of sheep shit and brown bread. For some it’s a weekly routine that can’t be broken. Here’s why going home is vital to a Culchies survival:
Culchies go home every weekend to see our Mammies. Any Culchie worth their salt will deny this, but it is true. If we, for some godforsaken reason (such as having a life), don’t come home for a weekend, we’ll be plagued with 15 phone calls a day “Jesus, Mary and Joesph, what in the name of Christ are you up to up there Siobhán? I don’t like it. All this gallavanting. It’d be more in your line to be at home with me.” What she really wants is to quiz you, root through your bags and fatten you up. We’re on the way.
10) The Scandal
There’s no gossip like Culchie gossip. “Jesus, did you hear about your one? She died there last week.” That’s the thing about being in the country. Someone always dies and if your parents ring at an odd time of the day, then you can be fairly sure someone has died. “Sure, the poor bastard wasn’t living anyway. Who got the land now d’ya reckon?”
9) New Romances
There is no fear greater than the fear your parents have that you’ll arrive home some weekend with a city man or woman on your arm. “Oh Baby Jesus, WHAT will your Grandmother say if she sees that yoke with the tattoos and the accent? Do they even have road frontage? DO THEY?” The rougher the better I reckon. It really amps up the shock factor.
8) Old Romances
You can always spot the poor sap in a culchie relationship because they’ll go home at every given opportunity. Their boyfriend or girlfriend is still back in the country, still living at home, working on the farm or in the local town, hating life, resenting the life their other half has in the big smoke, what with all the bars and shops and Coppers. Deep down, they fear that the end of the relationship is imminent because the choice up in Dublin is far bigger and better and prettier. Better cling on for dear life so.
7) Old Friends/ Foes
Meeting up with old friends, or just people whom you just used to know (this one works better if you’ve never liked these people in the first place) once you’ve flocked the nest, is a great experience for a Culchie. They’ll be the centre of attention for the people who’ve never left the county and claim to get a nosebleed as they cross the Shannon. The culchie will relish all of the attention, as they tell tales of how there’s places up there where you can eat, drink and go clubbing, ALL IN THE ONE SPOT. This audience will shake their heads in disbelief and say they really must go up and see what all of the fuss is about. They won’t be doing that. What they will do however, is judge every word that comes out of your mouth. They’ll get you to say shit such as “round about the round about” and when your accent hasn’t changed as they’d hoped it would, they’ll get pissed off and walk away. Off with them.
Going to mass is the very bane of many a Culchies existence. We’ve had to listen to our sophisticated city cousins tell us how they only go to mass when Granny comes to visit, whilst we’ve had to go every single fucking weekend because the slandering you’ll get from Granny (she probably lives with you) just isn’t worth the hassle. “Oh, so you’re a pagan now are you? Dublin has turned you into a pagan. What next? You’ll come home with one of those face tattoos or something. God almighty.”
5) The Farm
It’s a Wednesday. It’s half eleven and you’re fast asleep, when suddenly your father rings you, shouting down the phone because it’s a touch-screen and he’s not quite sure how it works, so the louder he shouts then the better chance he reckons you have of hearing him. Incorrect Papa. He’s just reminding you that you’d “better not be off out on the town” this weekend because there’s work to be done. Great. Can’t wait to be knee deep in cow feces.
4) The Feed
Many a Culchie will make the long, monotonous, hungover trip home weekend after weekend, just to fill up very stewed stew and home burned brown bread. You’ll be told that you’ve lost weight since last Sunday, so now sit down and eat five potions of the dinner that took me seven hours to make. In fairness having an actual hot dinner makes the journey all worth it. Then, before you head back you’ll stock up your suitcase with tins of peas and bags of spuds, neither of which will be cooked. Unless Mammy comes to visit. Which she won’t.
Every Friday evening, Dublin is brought to a standstill due to the vast quantities of suitcases and hurleys exiting Dublin. In case you’re wondering what in the name of God one could need a suitcase for when it’s just a weekend visit, then one word will explain it all. Laundry. I’ve met many people in college who are incapable of turning on a washing machine. Learning how to do this would be the obvious thing to do, you would think. Oh no no. Why not just lug half a tonnes worth of crusty jeans back and forth to Ballymacnowhere. That makes far more sense in the long run.
2) A Few Social Ones
A Culchie will pretend they now hate going out at home, what with all of the one shitty nightclub, three pubs and general pack of fools about. It’s a lie, they love it. It’s almost like running a marathon and then going for a walk to the shop. There is no choice, no decisions to be made about where to go. You’ll enjoy drinking in the same pub you got hammered in for the first time and afterwards you may even go for a nostalgic shift and drift with the local playaaaaa(dickhead). There’s a kind of comfort in dancing to the same playlist that did the rounds back in 2008 with your primary school friends. You’ll speak some intelligent witty banter to half the town and wait in Supermacs until four o’clock for the taxi bus home. Then, the next morning you’ll thank god you got out of the shithole. Until the next weekend.
1) The Big Match
Nothing makes a Culchie flock back to the country faster than word of a match. Jaysus, cancel any plans for the love of God. HOW COULD YOU POSSIBLY FORGET THIS??? You’ve been warned that if you do not show up, you may as well just turn away and never come back home again. You will be shunned as as non believer. Sure aren’t half your cousins on the minor team? It’s time to get out your jersey (from when you were 9) and get pissed down the local, win or lose. Just stand there in the rain shouting out the names “Sean, James, Paul, Tommy, Paddy” in no particular order and you’re covered.