Thursday, March 17, 2011

here comes paddy

be wearing wellies for sure

On a normal weekday morning at around 8:30am, I see one puddle of puke on the streets of Temple Bar. In fairness, there are a few homeless shelters in the neighborhood and sometimes I can see the culprit responsible for the vom slumped down perched on a nearby stoop with an open can.

Weekends produce between 2-4 puddles in the three blocks I walk to George's Street. These probably belong to the tourists staying in the hostels nearby. After all, the Dublin experience revolves around whiskey and Guinness.

I would just like to put it out there: I am frightened for my morning walk tomorrow, because it's St. Patrick's Day. This week alone, I've seen a huge influx of tourists in the neighborhood; rolly suitcases in hand, jittering along on cobblestone roads, getting ready for the party. All the corner stores started selling giant green foam hats and clover pins and shirts with ridiculous sayings.

I had heard (from American friends) that St. Patrick's Day in Ireland is supposed to be a somber religious holiday. I'm convinced this something the Irish Tourism Board came up with to downplay reality. Based on the PSAs on the radio this week ('do everything in your power to keep your kids away from alcohol') the whole day is a drink-fest and the world is invited to participate. It is three weeks of Oktoberfest rolled into a single day.

I am told they shut down all the streets in the city centre and it can take over 20 minutes to cross Dame Street. I've been told to avoid Temple Bar if at all possible and there are supposed to be half a million people in the city centre alone. I guess I want to enjoy St. Patrick's Day since it's part of the experience, but I'm questioning if I'll go out at all. I might feel different if I was here on a visit, but the fact that it all happens in my neighborhood sort of makes me want to hide. Whatever happens, I will take my camera and see what there is to see!

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