August again. Time to pack, go somewhere and take our ease. Time also to dust off those passports if the destination is Ireland or other spots overseas. This year, those of us with U.S. passports need take particular heed of the fact that the broader world is not always an unequivocally welcoming place, so watch how you go and where you go.
On a brighter note, a recent international survey of tourist behavior placed Americans at the top of the list in terms of bonhomie and good behavior while visiting foreign lands. British tourists, by sharp contrast, were found to be the most boorish.
No time to gloat, however. According to the survey, which received considerable publicity in the Irish media, the Irish are hard on the heels of their British neighbors in terms of loutish antics on the various Costa dels and other torrid spots. This, of course, would seem to suggest that it might be a good idea for Irish tourist wannabes to remain isolated on their misty isle this year while they sort themselves out.
But it hasn’t stopped raining in months, so a little sympathy is warranted. Indeed, the rain was so bad on Tuesday that the meteorological office at Belfast’s Aldergrove Airport had to be abandoned after rainwater began pouring in under the doors.
As for dual Irish and American passport holders? They, presumably, are like the cast of “Dancing at Lughnasa”: well behaved on the surface but only raring to jump atop the nearest table and let rip.
Behavior apart, do mind how you all go, and enjoy the hazy, lazy days of highest summer.