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Life in Dublin

So seeing as I’ve been living in the nations capital for the past 3 months, it was only a matter of time before I blogged about it. It all began when my college co-op placement saw me plucked from the blissful comfort of Limerick student life, and flung out into the hustle & bustle of Dublin City. It was time to face the big bad world and experience ‘adult life’ for a while. How cosmopolitian.

Anyway, so my fellow country folk might be wondering “What is life in the ‘Big Shmoke’ really like?”

Well… let me break it down for you.

Like anywhere it has it’s pros and cons, but let me just begin by saying that,

Dublin is Beautiful.

I don’t care who you are, or where you’re from, if you’ve ever been to the city this is just something you cannot deny. People can be so hostile about the country’s capital, but if they just stopped to take it in for a second they’d realise it’s just as breath taking as the likes of London or New York. No really, I’m serious. Take a stroll down Grafton Street at Christmas time and tell me I’m wrong,  walk along the canal or through the Phoenix Park on a sunny day, spend a night in Temple Bar and just try to deny it.  You’ll fail, because like it or lump it our capital has character, bags of it.

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Dubs aren’t as bad as you think. Loads of people think Dublin is just crawling with scumbags with thick dodgy accents, while an element of that is true, most dubs are actually some of the nicest people you’ll ever meet. Maybe I’m a bit biased considering my dad and half of my family are dubs, so it’s in my blood, but still. 😉

The accent will grow on you. The dublin accent is a bit like marmite, you either love it or hate it. If you’re the latter, it does grow on you despite your efforts to hate it. Seriously though, can you imagine walking down to Croker without hearing the classic “Haaaats scarvess and headbaaands 2 eurroooo?” I’ll admit, it’s no music to the ears, but it does make you lol. (You read that line in your best Dublin accent too, don’t deny it). Be careful before you rip the piss out of the Dublin accent though, because they will give you twice the going over. Once they discover you’re a ‘culchie’ there’s no going back. I’ve lost count of the amount of times I’ve heard “Ahhh ya didn’t get that accent up here an anyway luv, comee ere to me where are ya from?”   You can take the girl out of the country, but you can’t take the country out of the girl and all that jazz.  Best to keep the head down and try to remain unnoticed.

sheep memeCoppers will break you.

Ah the legendary Copper Face Jacks, it has claimed even the purest of souls. Again, no matter who you are, or where you’re from, or even how hardcore you think you are, Coppers will break you. It’ll break you in such a way that you’ll still go back for more, even after you swore to yourself after the shame of last time there was no way in hell you were ever setting foot in there again. Oh you’ll be back. Even if it’s just in the hopes that you might reclaim your lost dignity (or your favourite black blazer). You won’t.

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Dublin bus is the worst thing ever. Now I’m not just saying this because everyone knows I loathe public transport, it really is the worst thing ever. I’d take 12 Bus Eireann buses over it if I could. Honestly. The only redeemable feature of the service is it’s free wifi. Even at that it’s a push. The stress of trying to have the ‘exact change’  the panic you face when you don’t. Not to mention the judgment from the less than pleased bus driver. If you’re looking for sympathy you’re in the wrong place. Trust me even this face doesn’t work tumblr_ml8ekhdrtf1snrpkmo1_500

If you’re smart though you’ll probably have a leapcard or some other long term ticket to avoid such occurances. I have yet to make this move after 3 months. . there’s always tomorrow hey. They also have no concept of time. If the driver of the 7.45 decides he just doesn’t want to show up on a Friday morning, well then he’s not going to show up. You may start walking or hitch hiking.

busThe following words will become part of your vocabulary:

-Bleedin

-Jeeeeezus

-an anyway

-ya tick

-yisser

to name but a few.

The shopping is amazing. This needs no explanation. If you’re a girl & you love shopping, you’ll love Dublin. Simple. tumblr_inline_myffvc4z2Z1rgs66v

Sometimes you’ll feel like you need a tractor just to plough your way down Henry St. It’s a given that in a busy city people will just walk into you. It can be so annoying and frustrating but it’s just another thing you get used to and learn to deal with. People literally walk around with their eyes closed, if you’re not on your A game chances are you’ll be sent flying into a lampost or get assaulted by multiple shopping bags. It’s a jungle out there. tumblr_mer2t2hIRY1rbu2m2

The real world sucks. Living & Working in Dublin has given me a taste of what life will be like after college & lets just say it’s a big wake up call. Forced to drag myself up at 7 o Clock every morning gone are the days of rolling over and staying in bed in college, simply because I just didn’t feel like getting up. Well for the meantime anyway. 😉

Seeing family on a more serious note, the best thing about living in Dublin so far has been being able to see and spend time with family that I previously woudn’t have seen as often. You might think going from living in a crazy student house with 4 of your best friends, to living with your nan is a bit of come down, but seriously I wouldn’t wish to be anywhere else. Never a dull moment with Sheila Keogh let me tell you. If she’s not kicking all of our arses in scrabble, she’s off belting out her solos with her beloved ‘Forever Young Chorus’, or she’s down the road playing bingo, though she’s given that up for lent. (It’s important that I mention that). But really, it’s great to just be able to sit and learn from a woman who’s been through so much in life. Hearing her stories and perspective on life, has given me a fresh perspective on my own. Most of all it’s been great getting to know her better. I know it sounds soppy, but I think I love Dublin even more for giving me the opportunity to spend much more time with such an amazing lady. 🙂 Even if she does fizzin’ beat me at scrabble 😛

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P.s Baz it’s great seeing you too. 😛

So there ya go there’s just a little glimpse into Life in Dublin so far. I’ve already acquired so many stories, and I’m sure by the end of my 6month stint I’ll have gained many more. But so far Dublin, you’re not half bad. 😉

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Being Irish

So most of us have probably already seen the #IrelandInspires video that’s doing the rounds on Facebook, I saw it this morning and it inspired me to write this blog about what it really means to be Irish. Granted we are probably the biggest nation of complainers, and the minute something goes wrong, or the government fucks up (again) we’re ranting and raving. But despite that, what the video clearly points out is our passion.  We have a lot more to be proud of than we probably even realise. It’s easy to forget the little things that make us inherentiy ‘Irish’ when we’ve become so preoccupied with the recession, job loss, the government and all that jazz. Which is why ahead of Paddy’s day, and in the spirit of #IrelandInspires I decided to compile a list of 10 things totally Irish to remind us just how deadly we really are. I realise we’ve probably all seen these a million times before, but sure it’s great to basque in our own glory 😉 Anyway here we go..

1. Talking about the weather Irish people love the weather. It’s literally one of our favourite and most frequented topics of conversation. Go back 2-3 weeks ago when we were hit by “The great Storm Darwin” and the whole country was in chaos. Trees were falling, streets were flooding and sure we were only loving it. Twas great craic. TV3 even did a 2 hour LIVE weather update, god for bid we missed any of the action. Fast forward a couple of weeks, the sun peeks out and the excitment hits another level. Never mind that it’s still only 10°c there is sun, so it’s acceptable cider and beer garden weather.

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2. Mass Lets face it, there is nothing more Irish than mass. Now I know outsiders might say “but people go to mass all over the world..” Ah yes, but not in the shtyle of the irish. Lets face it though, the only reason you ever went as a child was because 1. your mammy made you, or 2. You knew you’d get to go to the shop afterwards. For me it was the latter. You’d sit there for the half an hour feeling like it was never going to end. Dreaming about that glorious moment of  “mass has ended, go in peace,” so you could make the run ahead of the rest of the congregation to get to the shop before the queues. Indeed there are many components to an Irish mass. Christmas eve mass may as well be renamed “the annual fashion show”, because everyone and their mother are out to show off their new christmas gear. Then there’s the gathering outside where everyone chin wags as if they haven’t seen each other in years. Ya gotta love it.

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3. In light of the above meme… Father Ted. This one needs no explanation. It was funny then, it’s funny now. It will never not be funny. It’s one of those shows that will always be associated with Irishness. And we lovee it.

4.  The Rose of Tralee: Ah the annual Rose of Tralee competition, love it or hate you still probably watch it, even if it’s just to give out about how shite it is. The best thing about the rose is ranting about how virtually none of them are actually Irish. The horror. The Darwin Rose comes out, she’s primed and ready. Then Daithi asks the all important question, it’s the one you’ve been waiting for.. “So Molly, tell us about your Irish heritage?”  Molly bodly responds, “Well my great, great, great grandfathers cousins, uncles, dog emigrated to galway 700 years ago! I’m so proud of my strong roots, and even though it’s my first time here, I love Ireland!”  The cheek of her. You’re fuming. You’d rather watch winning streek at this stage. But you continue watching, because it’s the Irish thing to do.

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5. Tea. We have an obsession with tea commonly known as “tae”. We love it so much it’s probably in our veins. 5 cups are just not enough…

tea

6. The following phrases…

“Be graaaaand” (It probably won’t, but we say it anyway)

“Penney’s, 5er”  (Yes, my amazing top was in fact bought in penneys, and now you’re begruding me)

“Fuck off!”         (I don’t actually want you to fuck off, I’m just expressing disbelief)

“Yer wan”          (Some bitch)

“G’luck”             (Fuck off)

“Yeaaaah right”  (No way)

“Jaaaysus”        (another expression of disbelief)

“Dry shite”        (You are the epitome of boring and I do not want to spend any time with you)

“Langers, Fluthered, Scuttered, buckled, in the horrors, fucked”   (Intoxicated).

7. These bad boys. Tayto. If you’re abroad chances are your mammy has sent you a couple of boxes of these to keep you going. Now all you need is a fresh slice pan..

index8. The following people:

Bono & the national begrudgment that comes with him.

Sharon Ní Bheolain, sure isn’t she lovely.

Marty Whelan, what would eurovision be without him?

The guy that fell on RTÉ during the “big freeze” (He’s a national celebrity)

Hector.

Dustin the Turkey.

9. Irish Discos. Looking back is there anything more horrifying? Spending the night in a sweaty, cheaply lit, community hall with 50 other 13 year olds all desparately looking for the shift so the night is complete. If you were bould enough, you’d have downed a naggin around the corner before heading in. Or if you were a complete badass you snuck it in with you in your ugg boot. Oh there was no stopping you then.

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10. GAA perhaps the most Irish of it all. Nothing fuels the emotion and passion within us more. The thrill of going to croker on an All Ireland Sunday, the highlights of the Sunday Game, the friendly banter and rivalry between counties… or in some cases pure hatred.. 😛 Nonetheless, the GAA is distinctly ours and is the embodiement of Irish Pride.

So there ya go. The #IrelandInspire video draws attention to some of our more significant achievements and advancements in recent years, but it’s nice to be reminded of some of our most well known traits. Aside from our stereotypical ginger hair, leprachaun loving, guinness drinking alter egos 😛 I hope that wherever you are this Paddy’s day that you’re surrounded by good friends, and you really make the most of a day dedicated to us wonderful eejits 🙂