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.
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?
- This could be where the local Latvian shop went wrong.
- 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.
- Irish pubs are brilliant.
- There seems to be a new uniform being sported by the gentleman ‘yoof’ in Ireland…
- 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
merrilypatiently 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.