Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Things noticed in Dublin

Last week I took a city trip to the Irish capital Dublin (see pictures here). Here are a few things I noticed there.
  • A lot of people I met were friendly and helpful. Whether it was the taxi driver from my drive to the hotel who gave me tips on what to see, where to get great deals or where to eat or the locals who saw you standing with a map in your hand and gave directions or people offering you a (albeit free) newspaper on the bus.
  • Gaelic Football is a bit of a strange sport, but enjoyable to watch (especially in a bar with some Irishmen).
  • If you're not into meeting drunk/loud people: don't go to the Temple Bar district in the evening/night. If you don't mind it's a great place to spend an evening enjoying yourself.
  • Despite the smoking ban in places like restaurants, pubs, governmental buildings and the like, there are still a lot of Irish who smoke. Not just adults, but kids in their early teens as well. Maybe it's more apparent because they smoke outside, but the smoking ban doesn't seem to have the desired effect.
  • Dublin bus timetables are more of a suggestion since the city is so jammed with traffic. It's not a real problem if you're not in hurry, but if you rely on it to get you to a certain place on time you could be in for some trouble.
  • Also on the Dublin bus double-deckers: when you get up to the upper deck be sure to duck if you're taller than 6 feet (1.83 m) or you're gonna hit your head on the roof. Trust me.
  • You have to be some kind of daredevil (or have a dead wish) to go biking in Dublin's rush hour.
  • People hold their mobile phones. They don't put them in their pockets or bags. They just hold them.
  • Not surprisingly: souvenir shops in Dublin have an abundance of green items.
Every countries' inhabitants have their own unique characteristics and in Dublin that's no exception. Experiencing those differences in cultures and habits is what makes traveling worth while.

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