A few days in Dublin

I spent Christmas in Dublin and what a wonderful few days it was. In case you’re wondering, yes, Latvia let me back in.

Passport control Jānis: What happened to your passport?

Me: (Shrug) It got wet and sticky. (I didn’t feel like explaining New Orleans’ Jazzfest.)

Passport control Jānis: (Shrug) What’s your name?

Me: (dramatic eye-rolling) Linda O’Greidija.

Passport control Jānis: (Shrug)

Sometimes, the lack of words thing here is fantastic.

I rolled back into town on Sunday night, clutching a paper cup of milk in my lap. Narvesen don’t do cartons of milk but luckily, I was served by a creative Latvian.

Caution: Contents not hot

Caution: Contents not hot

This country seriously needs Spar.

Anyway, it was a fantastic few days. I saw everyone I wanted to see, forgot half the stuff I wanted to eat, cleaned up in the sales, ate my own body weight in pork products, and boosted Bulmers’ sales for the festive period. I also met my friend’s new baby who is, quite possibly, the cutest baby that has ever lived. (And anyone who knows me, knows that I do not say this lightly.) He seemed to take to me too; at least he certainly enjoyed grabbing two handfuls of my hair and beaming into my face while doing it.

As I’ve always got my Expat Eye on something, I thought I’d turn my Homely Eye on Home for a change and share some observations on Dublin with you lovely people. So here goes:

  • Irish people buy far too much food for Christmas. My mother bought enough to feed both Latvia and Ireland for a month yet there are only four of us. (I did my best.)
  • There is too much ‘stuff’ in Ireland in general. Can someone please explain to me why a chemist’s needs to sell life-size cardboard cutouts of One Direction members?
I'll get some Nurofen and Harry Styles, please

I’ll get some Nurofen and Harry Styles, please

  • This could be where the local Latvian shop went wrong.
Black bread and NO Harry Styles? No thanks...

Black bread and NO Harry Styles? No thanks…

  • Irish customer service is fantastic. Even Latvians smile and say ‘hello’ and ‘thank you’ when working in Irish shops, which proves that they can do it – if they want to.
  • Dublin breeds a particular brand of entitled scumbag which I’m pretty sure nowhere else in the world does. Something to be proud of.
  • O’Connell Street is a scary place.
  • There aren’t nearly as many fat people as I was expecting.
  • Tracksuits, however, are rife. They are also no indication of sporting prowess. And although it is acceptable to pop to the aforementioned Spar in your pjs, pubs seem to be upping their game.
You'd think it would go without saying...

You’d think it would go without saying…

  • Irish pubs are brilliant.

2013-12-27 22.29.26

  • There seems to be a new uniform being sported by the gentleman ‘yoof’ in Ireland…
2013-12-27 20.07.19

A distinct lack of tracksuits

  • It’s easy to see why Irish people are confused by the whole Eastern/Northern Europe thing when you have shops like this…


  • (Last night, I merrily patiently explained to a cute Dutch boy that Latvia is in Northern Europe. He remains unconvinced.)
  • Leopard print has invaded Irish stores, which begs the question: which came first, the Latvians or the leopard print?


  • I love Boots. Boots kicks Drogas’ ass.
  • Irish people finish a lot of sentences with ‘and’ or ‘but’. Nothing else is coming so just start talking.

Right, now I need to go and buy an actual carton of milk and bread that is not green.

Happy New Year everyone. See you on the other side.

About BerLinda

Adjusting to life in Germany, after living in Latvia for four years. Should be easy, right?
This entry was posted in Expat, Humor, Humour, Latvia, Travel and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

88 Responses to A few days in Dublin

  1. barbedwords says:

    Surely all shops should be selling One Direction life-size cutouts?? I could make my children very happy with a set of those 😉

  2. eNVee says:

    Few words about that dreadful leopard print “thing”…
    I have no idea who wants to buy these in Dublin, but in Riga that is something 100% typical russian. I haven’t seen any of my latvian female friends wearing this. Luckuly men are not interested too. 🙂

    Linda, you should probably get one for yourself. There could be some special, attracting magic in it. 😀


    • Expat Eye says:

      Ugh, if you ever see me wearing that, shoot me 😉 And I’ve seen some Latvian women wearing it – did you see that picture of your Finance Minister or whoever she is? 😉

      • eNVee says:

        Damn, this has gone out of control then! Permanent damage done.

        Yes, I could shoot you… with camera. And then publish it here! Just mark the time and place please! 😀

      • Expat Eye says:

        Ha, you had me a little worried there! Very glad you added – with camera! Maybe next Hallowe’en… 😉

    • wasd says:

      That kind of thing and style is popular within our Latvian-russian society. They wear it, they make curtains from it, and even put everywhere as screensavers. And it is mostly common to that society to wear screaming and mostly terrifying combination of bright colours and leopard style.
      Most of Latvians like to be discrete, and usualy very moderate clothing, because they dont want to get anyones attention. We have ofcourse our exceptions, like popular figures in TV and some excentric people, Im talking aboyut majority of my observations and knowledge about ever-silent Latvians 🙂

  3. Pamela says:

    Defo one of the two cuteset babies ever made 😉

  4. wait. let’s talk about jazz fest for a sec. i am instantly more impressed. and

  5. C2C says:

    Happy belated new year! I’m looking forward to seeing where this year takes our fierce Irish expat!

  6. bevchen says:

    Irish people sound a lot like English people… my grandma made less for Christmas tea this year after my dad told her it was stupid to always make so much… and it could still have fed a small army! There was trifle, banoffee pie, chocolate cake, homemade mince pies AND Christmas cake… and that was just the sweet stuff!

  7. I would have liked to know what Passport control Jānis would have said if you’d tried to declare the cardboard cutout of One Direction through customs. 🙂

  8. Pecora Nera says:

    Happy New Year to you 🙂 Were there really 3 lumberjacks in that Dublin pub or did you photoshop it?

    • Expat Eye says:

      Ha, my photoshop skills aren’t that good – they were really there! Just waiting for them to see it, hop on a Ryanair flight and join the lynch mob 😉

  9. Jude says:

    Hahahah, nooo, not leopard print! Can you enlighten a Canadian on what spar is?
    And I can pick out Irish people well quick here-they are the pale ones walking in huge groups wearing head to toe track suits (I believe you call this track a dacks or trackies)?

  10. Anna says:

    Nice one 🙂 All the best to you in 2014 and lots of new posts!

  11. 1WriteWay says:

    Happy New Year (ok, Belated Happy New Year)! Glad you had a fun time in Dublin and sort of glad they let you back in Latvia. I guess you still have a job there so where else would you go? Hopefully, this break was restorative and you’ll find new and wonderful things to enjoy about Latvia. Or not. Looking forward to your posts for 2014 🙂

  12. Happy New Year!

    Somebody should do a detailed cross-cultural study on entitled scumbags, just so we’re all clear on which places grow which types. I could do Australia for you?

  13. brathahn says:

    to be fair, and not to bash just Latvia always, i have to say that i didn´t like Dublin too much aswell 😉 Spent in the winter of 2007/2008 three months there, and it really deeply depressed the shit out of me 😀 It seemed like on every corner drug addicts are fighting over cents, and walking home along thomas street ,drunk, wasn´t that much fun aswell 😀 Ireland is awesome landscape wise, and most of the people are lovely and really welcoming 🙂

    So, from which country is next new years blog entry coming from ?.
    Mine, if i finally would write a blog, will not be from latvia aswell.

    • Expat Eye says:

      I haven’t decided yet! I’m going to take a few trips – see if somewhere takes my fancy 😉 I’ll be here for a while yet anyway!

      The amount of scumbags in Dublin is out of control and it really is rather depressing! Maybe Ireland should copy the Danish approach and have heroin rooms for junkies… 🙂

  14. Aussa Lorens says:

    Happy New Year, huzzah! That “no track suits” sign is amazing but I’m caught up on one detail in particular: How does one end a sentence with “and” or “but?!” I thought I’d made every single grammar mistake known, but this is an anomaly to me!

  15. A very Happy New Year to you! Keep kicking ass and neigh at everything to brighten the day (yours and that of your respective readers (: ), and if some one is too thick to take a leotard joke just hit them on a head with a horseshoe which I hear is a must have accessory of 2014 😀

    • Expat Eye says:

      I could totally rock a horseshoe 😉 I might just wear it with some boots – a la Miley 😉 Happy New Year to you too! Thanks for always reading!

  16. astrameklere says:

    Linda, welcome back, and the most wonderful year, this one, of course! Let it makes you and Latvians laugh! 🙂

  17. Mūdzis says:

    About the leopard print – the supply often creates the demand. If the shops are in love with the print, then the customers, especially those who have no patience for shopping, just have no choice but to buy the clothes.

  18. Laura says:

    Happy New Year! Re: the new ‘lads-to-pub’ attire, it’s the same up north. They are mad for check shirts just now. My friend from London came for a visit and remarked it was like a uniform! Glad you enjoyed being home and here’s to great things ahead for you in 2014!

  19. I had to google One Direction… am completely out of touch.
    Happy New Year to you, may it not be your last 😉

  20. Ireland is dear to my heart and I love it all. However, I did have an experience in an Irish pub in Dublin that was a little confusing. My daughter ordered a pint,which is normal. I asked the bartender if he knew how to make a Bloody Mary. He assured me that he could and proceeded to prove it. In went the gin. In went the tomato juice. Then, he put it in a shaker and shook. I ended up with a Bloody Mary with a head on it. The nearest plant drank more of it than I did.

  21. But seriously.. You went to Dublin. That is just the northern northern European version of Latvia isnt it? Second Latvia? Latvia Nr. 2?:)

    Happy New Year!

    • Expat Eye says:

      Happy new year to you too! Yeah, it’s funny, the first shop you hit as you walk into my hometown is a Latvian store 😉 Looks like it’s closed down though – maybe all the Latvians have gone home? Or they’re not as keen on Latvian food as they claim?? 😉

  22. Karolyn Cooper says:

    Happy New Year from a chilly wet drumlin overlooking Belfast!
    How do we say Happy New Year in Latvian?

  23. rigaenglish says:

    Must be good to get back to north north eastern central Europe? Best of all, you can spend the money you didn’t spend on beer on beer! The guys in the occupied north also look identical on nights out, Primark shirts rulez. The ads on TV are also wildly different from Latvia. Half them feature moving videos of a teary eyed infant who could benefit from just 2 pounds a month and the rest are offering easy credit deals, it’s as if the crisis never happened.

  24. Was there really a live band in a pub? THought that was what the Irish Tourist Board pump out…One of our family Christmas ‘debates’ – is ireland as expensive as f*ck? (or is it because it seems like that because of the different currency?) Thoughts? Harry Styles in a chemist eh? Good bit of rhyming slang at the pharmacy counter: ‘Ooh, I have a bit of a problem with my Harrys – got any soothing cream?’

    • Expat Eye says:

      Ha ha, I’m sure they have a soothing cream for everything these days! Dublin really is expensive – I had to stop myself from saying ‘HOW MUCH???’ every 5 seconds 😉 I went to a house party my first night back so we picked up a couple of bottles of wine and a few beers – FORTY EURO – I could have 4 nights out for that here 😉 And yes, there really was a band in the pub – and they were fantastic! You could buy Harry for the bargain price of 22.50 though 😉

  25. Anna says:

    I wouldnt mind picking up a Harry Styles at the chemist’s to take home 😉
    I love that Ireland has gone hipster – plaid is definitely preferable to track suits. I thought the latter were only favored by the EASTERN Europeans 😉

    • Expat Eye says:

      Ha ha! I don’t think they make them in leopard print. And they certainly don’t go with stilettos 😉

      I was torn between Zane and Harry. Even though I’m old enough to be their mother, I was still tempted 😉 I wasn’t sure Michael O’Leary would let me take them as carry-on luggage though…

  26. nancytex2013 says:

    Leopard print in Ireland? Maybe the whole EU thing wasn’t such a great idea after all…

  27. Ann Koplow says:

    Happy New Year, to you. And no matter where you are, I am always glad to see you!

  28. Daina says:

    The life-sized cardboard cut-outs of One Direction are CREEPY! Yeah, don’t get me started on ‘too much stuff’…..I live in the U.S…..we win that competition hands-down. Glad you had a good visit!

    • Expat Eye says:

      It should be called the UStuff 😉 We’re not far behind though I reckon! And the ‘have a nice day’ thing has crept in too! Happy new year to you!

  29. TRex says:


    Have a happy New Year! 🙂

  30. Happy new year! And keep up the good work, I really love reading about all your adventures in Lithuania 😉 PS I love that a pub has to have a No Tracksuits rule!

Comments are closed.