Deductions and Deliberations on Dublin


So the trip is over and done. We had a rather uneventful return after we spent the last morning in Dublin walking around and getting some Irish wool for some friends. We then had a quick lunch at the hotel and waited for our car. And waited. And waited some more. We then asked the front desk if we could call the car service about it on their phone and they told us the driver had shown up at 1:30 AM instead of 1:30 PM. They told him there was no way anyone would be leaving for the airport at that time since there are no flights then anyway, but I guess the driver decided to never come back. Thankfully, the hotel staff called a cab for us and we had no problem getting to the airport or through customs. We had plenty of time to kill before the flight and just relaxed. The flight itself was nothing special either, although the jackass sitting in front Michelle kept leaning his seat back into her for the whole flight. The fact that she didn’t get up and punch him showed remarkable restraint. Everything was back to American normal when we got to JFK. We had to wait to get to the gate for over an hour because of ground traffic. We got our luggage, got through customs, got our car and we’re home by about 11 PM. We picked up Sean the next day (thank you Hauser family for having him for the week!) and everything is back to normal now.

My impression on Ireland: I want to go back, of course. We did a lot of running around in the time that we had because everything was scheduled out in a short time, so I would like to go back to see more than just Dublin. Dublin was a great city. I liked the fact that we could walk or hop on the bus everywhere we went. Granted, it is not a big city like New York, but that is also part of its charm. Traffic is just traffic there. As one cab driver explained to us while we were there, people are just nicer and more laid back there. And they really are, or at least seemed to be to us while we there. I am willing to admit that most of the people we were dealing with while we were there were in the tourism and service industries, so they are supposed to be nice. In a lot of places though, that is not always the case. I have been to many places where not everyone is so friendly, but I have to admit that we did not come across one person who was even a little bit annoyed or terse. It was not like they even seemed to be going out of their way to be nice – they just were. It sure would be great if more people were like that everywhere.

Even the people who seemed to be rushing around – people on their way to work, students heading to class at Trinity College, busy waiters and waitresses – it didn’t seem to matter who they were or what they were doing, but everyone seemed to be in a good mood. I am sure, just like any other place, people have bad days, horrible days, but no one showed it. I’m not saying it was a perfect town and I am sure there are spots in the city where it’s not great to go or you can find yourself in trouble – that’s true anywhere you go today. We did run into quite a few people begging for money and saw some homeless people on the street. That’s true of New York every day and an unfortunate effect of the economy and the world we live in today. Ireland has been pretty devastated by the downturn in the economy. Of course, where we were was pretty high on the tourism list and Grafton Street is chock-full of stores that most people can’t afford to shop in, but the streets were full of people milling about, maybe not shopping, but there were lots of people there.

Now, a couple of observations. A lot of the people we came across like to curse. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, just something I don’t personally do very much. It could just be that were more prudish here in America (and I think we are, on many levels, but that’s for another day) but it is just part of the way they speak apparently. Michelle took particular delight in the fact that many people like to use the word”fuck” in every sentence. I think it’s just that I personally don’t use that word, so it kind of surprised me to hear it so much, but I guess you would get used to it over time.

People have long talked down about food and cooking in Ireland and the UK, but I didn’t have issue with any of it. I thought everything was fresh and tasted great and was not bland at all (if you want to see some recipes of what we ate, you can check my cooking blog for what we had over the course of the time we were there). Many places we went said they got their vegetables and fruit in daily, baked their own bread every day and there were fresh flowers every day everywhere we looked.

They love their music and they love to party. Arthur’s Day was crazy, even at midnight on a Thursday.Even while we were walking on the streets towards Grafton Street there were many street performers playing music. There were record stores all over the place as well, something that you rarely see over here anymore. And of course there were the parties and the beer. People just generally seemed to be having a relaxing good time. It may just have been because of the time we were there, I’m not sure. We’ll have to go back to find out for sure.

I would love to see more of the country, however. I would like to get outside the city and see some of the smaller towns, enjoy the atmosphere and see some of the history that the  country has to offer. I think seeing more of the rural side of the country would make for a very well-rounded trip. Maybe next time we can spend a week over there and see more of everything. I would certainly go back again though.

Those are some of my general observations about the trip. Next time, I’ll get more specific about how I think the trip affected me and how I plan to go forward with me and this blog. I think it will all be pretty interesting. Check back and see. Until then, don’t forget to do something creative today!

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