cat and cage

hubs + Ilsa at All Hallows College

Today Ilsa arrived in Dublin for her visit! After finding her at the glorious new Terminal 2, we immediately hopped on a bus into town from the airport. On the way to drop off (set down) her bag at our flat, a scumbag on the quays shouted that she was a beautiful girl. After running inside quickly, we hopped back on the bus to meet hubs as he finished his exams. Hubby is in the middle of first semester exams and gets out around noon or half twelve on test days. Ilsa and I met him at the Cat & Cage pub in Drumcondra for her first pint. We enjoyed a Smithwicks and some greasy pub food and sat around talking to hubs and his classmates. I heard the Irish accent as if it were still a novelty. The Irish accent is very pleasing to the ear and I hope Ilsa liked it as much as I did that afternoon. 

After hubs gave us a tour of the college, we got caught in a torrential downpour, hid from the rain inside a Tesco, and took the bus home--absolutely soaked to the skin. On the way home, a scary bloke on the bus was pounding on the windows, muttering to himself that he was 'mad crazy with a little bit of fruitcake', and trying to talk to us. Welcome to Dublin!

this little nook-All Hallows College, Dublin 9


  1. Indeed my ears were quite pleased with the Irish lilt. I just wanted to listen all day and try to understand it all. And I appreciated the half-pint of smithwicks and wish I could get it in 1/2 pints here.

    One thing I noticed about Dublin is that although it's a large European city with a fair amount of american tourists, I still felt like they were wondering what Americans were doing there. I never expect to be warmly welcomed in any other country these days, but there were times I felt almost looked down upon for being there. I don't understand why, I mean, I spent money there and god knows their economy needs it, and I dressed the part and wasn't boisterous or ignorant. I'm sure, Alison, you know what I mean and feel it too? You said they were very conscious of accents and wary of foreigners infringing upon their nationalistic values. I can see that pride clearly in their attempts to keep Gaelic a living language for future generations. I can appreciate this, but I also comprehend it as saying "It's been this way for as long as we can remember and we'll see to it that it won't change ever". It's a stark difference from the american value of 'equality for everyone no matter what ethnicity, gender, income, or education', a place where the world is welcome to have a go at our 'great opportunities'.

    Comparing Dublin to London, I observed that Dublin was less of a 'mixed bag' and you were either Irish or you weren't. Along with the shops and restaurants. The British seem to separate themselves from the Irish in that while I was in London I saw little to no Irish influence on daily life. The same is not at all true in dublin, with many clothing shops, grocery stores, tv shows, and magazines/newspapers originating from the neighbor island. My british boy who was half Irish always referred to Irish things and gingers with a dislike. Kind of like how we talk about Canada.

    On a whole the attractiveness of the general population wasn't mindblowing, and I did notice more gingers there than anywhere else I've been. I don't understand why it's a bad thing?? I think I'll go red just to prove it's a fantastic feature to have. And so people don't think I'm Spanish (right Alison)

    To sum up this essay I've written on your lovely blog, it was the best trip I've had in ages and such an honor to spend so much time with the best friends a girl could ask for. As I said, your presence is severely missed in minneapolis, but I know you're just a cramped plane-ride away!

  2. Ilsa you have it exactly right. The Irish tend to resent Americans because often-times people are claiming Irish heritage when they haven't set foot in the country. On the other hand, I saw a commercial recently for Air Lingus where the Irish take credit for the American railroad system because "Irish people built it". Hypocritical?

    There was an excellent article recently in the Metro Herald about how self-important the Irish can be when the accomplishments of Ireland have no real bearing on the rest of the world. I will try to find a link.

    Yes about English influence here--to deny this is to be blind, but it happens.

    It was so nice to have you here and to talk to someone who has some UK experiences to compare with our last few months here. You definitely win the prize for easiest house guest so feel free to come back anytime!


Post a Comment