We had thought that shirts with logos on them were typically American, and while they aren’t quite as common in Ireland as in the states, there are quite a lot of them about. The most common logos include Timberland, Dolce & Gabbana, fcuk (which is not a misspelling – it stands for French Connection UK).

Certain sports teams shirts and sweatshirts are common here, particularly Notre Dame and Boston, which isn’t that surprising considering they’re the Fighting Irish and the Celtics (pronounced Keltic here since there’s no soft c in Irish). But I am puzzled by one logo I see fairly frequently. A dozen or so times I’ve seen people wearing an Oregon shirt or sweatpants, or seen Oregon clothing for sale in a sporting goods store. Not Oregon the state, but the University of Oregon (yeah, I can tell by the lettering, plus occasionally the sweats might say something about “Track Town”).

The first few times I saw someone wearing Oregon clothing, I was tempted to yell out (may God and my nephew Dan forgive me) “Go Ducks” just to see if I got a reaction. I suspected I wouldn’t, judging by the fact that no one here seems to have a clue where Oregon is. It’s just another American name used to sell clothing. I even saw a “State of Minneapolis” shirt, which is a puzzler to me.

Still, I wanted to know if there was an Oregonian-ex-pat crowd here, so I was looking for a chance to talk to someone about the clothing. Amy mentioned seeing a teen-age girl wearing sweatpants with Oregon printed across the back, and when I asked Amy if she’d talked to the girl about it, she said no. It is a bit of an awkward conversation starter I suppose: “Pardon me, I was reading your butt, and I noticed . . .”

Finally, though, as I rode the bus into City Centre, I noticed another passenger in Oregon sweats. So I asked if she had gotten the sweats from Oregon, or just bought them here, and she pointed to the Dunnes Store we were passing just then. It was just a pair of sweatpants to her.

The good news is, if you plan to visit us from Oregon, you can wear your Oregon clothing and blend in nicely here in Cork. Just don’t let my nephew see you.

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