Short plays about (racist) Ireland, 4

August 2015, my local bus stop

Elderly Man: You write for Metro Eireann, don’t you?

Me: (Thinking ‘great, here’s someone who enjoys my articles’) Yes.

EM: They pay you?

Me: No.

EM: You pay them?

Me: No.

EM: So why (do you write for them)?

Me: Oh, it’s a newspaper read by many migrants and members of ethnic minorities; I enjoy writing for it on a voluntary basis.

EM: Oh yes? Who owns Metro Eireann?

Me: Chinedu Onyejelem… (EM puzzled)… A Nigerian journalist and entrepreneur.

EM: Oh, entrepreneur, is he? He makes money out of ME then, doesn’t he?

Me: Not much…

EM: How much?

Me: (Beginning to loathe this conversation) I don’t know, and I don’t care… and anyway, what is it, a police interrogation?

EM: Oh no, but we live in a country where we speak English… You said ‘not much’, so you must know how much he makes…

Me: (getting truly pissed off) Would you excuse me (turning my back on him but remaining on my spot)

EM: (keeps silent for a while… then comes after me) You Jewish?

I remain silent.

EM: You Jewish, aren’t you?

I take a photo of him on my IPhone.

EM: Why are you taking my picture? What are you going to do with it? Report me to the police?

Me: Oh no, you have done nothing wrong… apart from being a pest…

EM: So I am a pest now, am I? Am I a pest now? (by which stage I have moved away from him, but he continues to stare at me; when I ignore him, he buries his face in a newspaper, but seems to go on mumbling to himself)

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12/18/2017 Migrant Activism and Integration from Below in Ireland

Edited by Ronit Lentin and Elena Moreo Palgrave MacMillan, 2012...read more
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