And a trip across Ireland means a front row seat to the physical manifestation of whatever gods there are. It means the greenest grass and crumbling walls and springtime lambs that are old enough to explore the paddock but too young to realise they’ll never get any further. It means travelling through towns with more pubs than people, towns like Ballindooley and Corrandulla, and it means stopping in Galway. It means strolling the Salt Hill Prom in search of a Galway Girl and finding nothing but Americans.
We are marching into shops and asking about carbon pegs and bamboo cutlery and the difference between a Trangia and a Jetboil. We’re walking out with space blankets and flints, parachute chord and hunting knives, water filters and one She-wee each despite none of us being women. We are prepared for everything, even growing a vagina.
I take a sip and agree, more out of politeness than any personal experience in incest. Apparently it’s a saying in New Mexico. I give them the benefit of the doubt. We’re sitting in Espinal, a small Spanish town at the foothills of the Pyrenees. I never once imagined I’d spend any portion of my life arguing about incest with an elderly American couple, but here I am. Drew & Annie are adamant that ‘kissing your sister’ translates as a weak wine. I argue that if anything, breaking taboos and societal norms and choosing to kiss your sister is an inherently strong move. Frowned upon, but ballsy nonetheless.