13 August 2007

Doity ol' toooooooooown...

Thank goodness I've moved to a whole new city with a whole bunch of new musical references from which to create my subject lines.

Here I am in gloomy old Dublin, diddley dee potatoes! It's not gloomy in a London kind of gloomy, but a whole different kind of gloomy. More like city gloom (smog, noise, bad smells) compared to farm gloom (drizzle, mold, weird animal smells). Kinda hard to explain but trust me, it's different. It wasn't what I was expecting...not like a city at all, more like a big village. There's not a lot of tall buldings and most of them are really really old. There are seagulls sitting on the roof of the building across the street and when they go off it feels like you're either at the world's crapest beach or the world's nicest dump. My office looks like something from the 1950's and all of the power points are in the floor, which is really funny when people trip over them, but not at all funny when I'm the only one who does.

The people are SO friendly! It's unbelievable...in 4 weeks in London I made, like, 4 friends and had about 5 decent conversations. In 4 days over here I met about 20 people who may well be my best friends for life and have had so many conversations frankly I'm sick of talking. I feel like a bit of a broken record cos the second thing everyone says to me is, "So, how are you finding Dublin, then?" and I'm all like, "You people are SO friendly!" and they're all like, "Yer feckin' eejit!" Incidentally, the first thing everyone says to me is, "So you're from England, yeah?" One of the managers I work for, Richie, has taken me under his wing and is telling me all about the history of Dublin and his boyhood escapades. He's an old-school Dubliner and has bright red curly hair and freckles like a little wee leprechaun (I didn't mention that to him cos he looks like he'd punch me). He told me where all the best "old man pubs" are located, and told me where to go to find some "fiddley-di-de dee" music, as he calls it. I think he means smelly old guys with ukeleles and hand drums like giant tamborines and pan pipes and fiddles, or something.

Two things they love doing in Dublin is drinking and swearing. And not necessarily in that order but usually ones comes very soon after the other. If you stand in the middle of the street with your arms out and spin around, you'll hit about 17 pubs before you fall over. I think I've drunk more Guiness in 4 days than I have in my entire life before now. They say it tastes better over here but I can't tell. You can do a tour of the Guiness brewery and they give you one free Guiness but I reckon if I wear enough disguises I can get about 4 in before they're on to me. Plus, you can say "feck" as much as you like cos it's not a swear word...go figure!

People's accents are cool...no matter how young they are they all sound about 65. Most people speak Gaelic, which is the Irish language, so when they answer the phone chances are they'll end up speaking weird. When something's funny or good fun or enjoyable you say "Good craic" which is pronounced "crack", which apparently confuses the hell out of the Americans. The traditional names are lovely but can cause confusion. When I first arrived I phoned my manager and he said he'd send the cleaner down to let me in. "The cleaner?" I thought. "Are they all so busy they can't spare 2 minutes, they have to send the janitor?" But then I thought perhaps they meant Cleaner as in the dude who mops up after CIA assasinations...oh no! Why do they want to kill me? I only just got here, I didn't do anything! But before I could run away a lovely lady named Cliona (pronounced 'kleena') showed up. Derr!

They love sport too and play this wicked game called Hurling. I know what you're thinking and, no, it doesn't involve dwarves or vomit but it's equally as exciting. It's kind of like hockey but the ends of the sticks are flat and round, kind of like a ping pong paddle, and the goals look like a soccer goal but with two big posts either side. The ball looks like a white cricket ball and getting it in the net is worth, I don't know, a eugoogaley or something, and getting it twixt the sticks (ooh err!) is worth a pootenanny. You can pick the ball up and run with it so long as you bounce it off your chest now and then, or you can smash it with your stick for one of your doodz to catch further up. It's very fast-paced and loads of fun to watch, particularly when some dude gets smashed in the face with the ball or a stick (apparently it's very woosy to wear head gear, and let's face it, there's nothing sexier than brain damage).

They're very curious about Australia and are always quizzing me about stuff so I've been making up a lot of it. I'm actually liking it more here than in London. I get to sit with a team of nice people and see them everyday. It really makes a difference when you feel part of the gang instead of just a visitor. I'm staying over this weekend instead of flying back so I'm going to do some exploring. Richie's suggested hiring a car and driving out into the country to see some of the outlying areas, which are very close and supposedly quite lovely. Kristen's probably rolling her eyes right now and going, "I've SO done all of that already! I lived in Ireland, you know!" Feckin' princess...

That's all from me for now. I'll try and post some pictures of Dublin this weekend and look forward to hearing back from you guys with all your news.

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