Unfiltered Story #27959

Unfiltered | December 26, 2015

I am driving somewhere with one of my friends (a native Newarkian) in the passenger seat. We are stopped at a red light when a panhandler comes up to the car. The windows are down because it’s quite warm and my AC isn’t working all that well.

Panhandler: Kin I git uh dollah (can I get a dollar)?

Me: Béarla? Ní thuigim. Gaeilge, le do thoil? (pronunciation: BARE-la? Ni higgim-ta. Gale-guh, lay duh hull?)

Panhandler: Huh?

Me: Gaeilge?

I smile at him uncomprehendingly, and the panhandler wanders off. The light turns green, and we leave.

Friend (looking at me like I’m crazy): What did you just say to him? What language was that?

Me: It was Irish. My grandfather taught me a few words and useful phrases. I told him I didn’t speak English and asked if he could please speak Irish.

Friend: Since when do you speak Irish?

Me: I don’t. I just know a few useful phrases.

Friend: *laughing* I don’t think I’ve ever seen that before.