Roisin hasn’t called.

September 20, 2008 Leave a comment Go to comments

That’s the last sentence of Round Ireland with a Fridge. Finished the book quite some time ago. Hahaha. I absolutely adore the book. It is so well written and ridiculously funny!! And my Irish geography is amazing. Someone should really go around Malaysia with a toaster or something. Sadly, like all Malaysians know, it will be impossible to get people to pick you up while hitchhiking. It’ll be too dangerous; it’s suicide; asking for trouble. Etc etc.

I like that quote about taking the ferry to Kerry and make his way to Tralee. Such a cute sentence. Haha. Sadly, Hawks’s route didn’t go that way.

I do wonder, in which other country would the people go baptising a fridge or bring a fridge surfing?


Oh, do take note that… those people actually involved in those events weren’t drunk. The owner of the fridge, baptised Saiorse (pronounced Seer-sha. Also the name of Yan’s blue sheep 😉 ) Molloy, might have been drunk when he agreed to it, but the person who suggested weren’t.


Ah, Roisin (pronounced Rosheen. Interesting to note that in the book, when Hawks “say” the names,–or the Irish words–it is always spelled the way it is pronounced. However, when the Irish “say” it, it is spelled the way it is “supposed” to be spelled) was a lady, who is separated (man, I’m sure she didn’t expect that her personal life would be known by so many people) from her husband, whom Hawks met (Beda, you might find this interesting) at a bar called Murphys. He went round with flowers to her and she promised to call… And she hasn’t called yet; or at least, till the book was written. No idea if she has contacted Hawks. Would be interesting how embarrassed she felt or whatever. Hahaha.

My mom asked me… How did Hawks keep the fridge in use?

He did not use it. He stored shoes in it occassionally.

Ahh… okay this is a weird “review”, if you could call it that.


Tony Hawks is an Englishman who never actually went to the neighboring island, until an Irish friend of his asked him to write a song for him to participate at an International Song Competition held yearly at his home town. The song was titled “I Wanna Have Tea With Batman”. Hahaha. So those who have seen my nation’s “Anthem” title, you know where I got the title from…

On the way to Cavan (the friend’s hometown) from Dublin Airport (Cavan is north west of Dublin), Hawks saw a guy hitch-hiking with a fridge. A full sized fridge. However, having been to Ireland before, and having consulted someone who lived in Ireland for now coming 4 years… I don’t trust that a “full sized” fridge in Ireland is as big as the fridge that is in my home’s kitchen. Their fridge is small!!!!!! Like, minibars. Okay not those square ones, which Hawks end up bringing around… but, just, slightly bigger, you know? And Fatin said that all the households in Ireland had fridges that small.

I could fill up a fridge that small on my own!!

(On a random note, Fatin’s fridge, at least last year, was full with butter when I was there. Kerrygold; supposedly the “cheapest” butter in Malaysia, according to my mom. Checked the price of it last week; it was more than RM7. Anchor butter, which is from NZ, is not even RM6. Taught my mom a lesson there not to look down at them. Haha.)

However, as Hawks is English… and we in England (humor me, please) have “real” “full sized” fridges… So I’ll assume that this guy manage to get the very rare in Ireland fullsized fridge and went “hitch-hiking” with it. Or at least, lets assume he did. Hawks didn’t stop by and ask the guy if he was.

Years passed (he always wanted to write that) and one day he got royally drunk and told his friends about the original “fridge man” (he later became the Fridge Man as well…) and in their drunken stupor made a bet:

“I hereby bet Tony Hawks the sum of One Hundred Pounds that he cannot hitch-hike round the circumference of Ireland, with a fridge, within one calender month.”

Both of them didn’t remember of the bet… and I can’t remember what made Hawks want to go with that bet. I’m too lazy to read it.

However, I remember that the fridge cost 130 Irish pounds and the bet is in 100 British pounds.

I love economics, and since now Ireland uses Euros… I checked on Wikipedia… (I’m too lazy to check if I can get the exchange rate at that particular time, regardless of my love for economics) The exchange rate for British to Irish pound on 1st Jan 1999 was GB£ 1 = about IR£ 1.287.

Correct me if I’m wrong… Using that particular exchange rate… The economic benefit of doing the bet is zero. Since the exchange rate has cancelled off each other.

No surprised that people keep calling Hawks eejit when he told them the price of the fridge and how much the bet was about.

Nonetheless, I’m the one being technical. In the book, you would think that British and Irish pounds cost the same.

I, however, know that Scottish and English pounds cost different in RM, which was why I refused to use cash when I was in Scotland, in case I got Scottish pounds. Regardless of the fact that Scottish pounds are rare in Malaysia, the exchange rate still shows that Scottish pounds is cheaper than English pounds.

Quite weird eh? It’s the same country’s currency yet it can have different rates.

Anyway, in a way, Hawks cheated. He got the backings of Gerry Ryan, a radio talk show host, was it? Yeah, so people knew where he was. He kept getting offers to stay at B&Bs for free… An offer for a fridge party–whatever that was… It’s really interesting, how the Irish mentality works. I can’t remember how Hawks worded it, but it is something along the lines of it being the weirder your act is, the wider the welcoming arms become. Okay that doesn’t make sense but you might get what I mean, right?

Hawks manage to go around Ireland in about 3 weeks, if I’m not mistaken. He went around the coast. However, the map provided had marks of where the towns that he dropped by or mentioned in Republic of Ireland (it is a map of Ireland the island; Northern Ireland included. Except for a stint in… Armagh was it… for the shooting of an interview for RIreland TV [they shot at a place where had a sign “Snippers at Work”])… Except for Athlone. Poor Athlone. It’s all alone, in the middle of Ireland, indicated on the map, with no friends near it… and not mentioned in the book.

Why include the town in the first place? If it is so insignificant? (Okay those from Athlone will so come after me to say their town is insignificant. Wiki states that it is the most developed town in the Irish Midlands. Hah!! Not like the English Midlands *beams*) Just felt like wasting ink?

What did Father Jack Hackett do in Athlone anyway?

I have to say… that my favorite quote from the book has to be this:

“Shrugging, I decided, was good. More people should shrug. You never see a politician shrug (they see it as a sign of weakness), but surely one of the reasons the problems in Northern Ireland have been prolonged is because the politicians on either side never shrug. There is no other physical gesture which comes as close to an embodiment of the fridge philosophy-a quiet acceptance of what has gone, and a healthy lack of concern about what is to come.”
Tony Hawks in Round Ireland with a Fridge, p151-152.

Malaysian politicians should adopt that as well, I think.

Which reminded me of a “moment” during my therapy session last Wednesday. “So why did you want to go to Belfast?” my psych asked. “Whose idea was it?” It was mine, and my mother has never been keen on me going to Northern Ireland. I wanted to go there, you know. I thought, hey, maybe there would be less Malaysians in Queen’s than there is in any of the English universities. Or so I thought… Googled and found out there’s 200 odd Malaysians in the whole university. What the hell right? Still, coming from the university who has the most Malaysian students…

So I said how I found out about it (an article written by a Professor there… The title had the word “comparative” in it, and then I was interested in doing comparative law) and checked out their website… and saw their modules… And realize, hey, it suits me more; equality. And modules on ethnicity, ethnic conflict and ethnic conflict management!!!! My type of modules!! And where better to learn it from a place with such horrible history on “ethnicity” to learn how did they cope? To be honest, I am no longer sure how the situation is; good or bad. Haha. Still, didn’t have any new cases on the PIRA in ECHR class…

I caught her students’ expression; they stated that they can’t believe the situation in any country could be as bad as Malaysia.

Malaysians just don’t know how lucky they are; not having dropped much blood in this kind of fights. May 16th is the worst that we have.

Interestingly, both my psych and I was like “you guys just don’t know how lucky you are not to be there at that time!”

I sound as if I’m in my 40s, when in truth, when those snippers were at work, I was just an adorable baby, innocent to the world’s horror.

My psych, on the other hand, might have been in Dublin already. I suppose she said from experience.

So, we don’t want Malaysia to ever end up like Northern Ireland, right? So we should adopt the Fridge philosophy; the politicians especially. Lets start shrugging!!


Heeee 😛

Oh, on the political fiasco in Malaysia… I have to say I absolutely love Alia Ishak’s current facebook status:

“Alia Ishak is finding it really funny that Malaysians have so much time to entertain the political circus there when the FINANCIAL SYSTEM around the world is crashing!”

Very true indeed!!

  1. No comments yet.
  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: