Back in 2010 Dublin residents were presented with the surreal sight of a real live penquin walking around the streets of the North inner city. Whilst some might have passed it off as an hallucination following a drop or two much of the black stuff the night before it was alive and well.
The bird had been taken from Dublin morning at 8.30 the same morning by three men. They climed the perimeter fence of the zoo in the park, kidnapped the poor creature, stuffed it into a bag and hailed a passing taxi.
Now, I.m guessing here...but I somehow suspect that the incident occured at the end of a somewhat 'normal' stag party. The fact that the taxi driver ignored whatever was going on between three men and a large slippery bird in the back of his cab sort of proves that he saw far worse things after an average friday/ saturday night.
The 'hangover' series of films are regarded as a somewhat mundane kitchen-sink drama in Dublin.
Several bands including the 'Drifters' and the 'Beachboys' have sung about a Boardwalk.
Dublin now has it's own version, although I suspect that the lyrics about the hot beating sun don't really apply here.
The Broadwalk runs along the north bank of the Liffey river, right through the centre of town.
In recent months there have been some newspaper reports about it becoming a 'no-go' area because of an infestation of drug dealers.
Sourbugger, of course, needed to test this piece of information. I didn't see any evidence of dealing, but there were plenty of drunk wasters about the place. Amiable enough, but wantonly ignoring the signs claiming there was a 1000 euro fine for anyone drinking alcohol along the broadwalk area.
"Oh when the sun beats down and burns the tar up on the roof.
And your shoes get so hot, you wish your tired feet were fire-proof.
Under the Boardwalk, down by the sea
On a blanket with my baby, is where I'll be."
I have been to a few large cities in my time and I don't think I am too naive to the social problems large cities face. Dublin, however, DID surprise me.
It was quite disturbing to see an old drunken man shouting abuse at random passers-by and happening upon an old woman sitting in a pool of sick on a bridge going over the Liffey. It seems that there is a definite gap between rich and poor in this city as the young Irish just seems to walk past with their earphones in, completely oblivious. Maybe they are just more accustomed to it than I am.
Keep your wits about you around Temple Bar on Friday and Saturday nights. The area is these days full of people who are horrendously drunk, and occasionally aggressive. My last Friday night there, I saw two ambulances and three police cars pull up in the space of 20 minutes.
We found Dublin quite an expensive city to drink in. I'm not sure if we were just unlucky in the places that we went to. We made a point of avoiding Temple Bar as far as drinking was concerned, thinking it would be more reasonable but still found it a lot more expensive than home.
One thing we did notice though was that when ordering spirits and a mixer, say vodka and coke or a Jimmy & Ginger [Jamiesons whiskey & ginger ale], they charge you for the mixer as if its a seperate drink so it does make it a lot more expensive than we were used to paying at home. Pints of Guinness seemed more reasonable though.
If you have read my tips under local customs this one might seem a bit strange, but my biggest problem in Dublin wasn't all the over drunk people, but the fact that both clubs and pubs were closing way too early.
It's one thing that the pubs are closing around 1.30-2am, but it's a scandal that all the clubs are closing at the same time!
In the summer! In the middle of the tourist season!?
Hello...? There was one club next to the Liffy River that closed around 2.30 am, but it was very snobbish and seemed to be quite expensive.
Apparently the Irish goes out to the pub at 6pm, and then stay there until it close.
Sorry for me being swedish, but I'm not used to go out until 11pm.
So don't do my mistake, and go out early! Otherwise you risk to go home way more sober than you had planned to do.
You'll come across people vomiting in the streets after a night out, so just watch where you're walking (especially ladies in sandals). Especially in Temple Bar(f).
Naturally a UK Dublin stag or hen party is not complete til someone has puked their guts up in the middle of the street - the ultimate sign of a good night out, right?! No wonder stags & hens are practically barred from the city.
I was once told in college, that you can't consider yourself to be a True Dub until you've barfed on O'Connell St on a Saturday night. :-)) If you're out in Dublin at 2am on a Saturday night, you won't believe the amount of public dumping (from top and bottom) that goes on. It's not just the locals, you tourists do it here too.
To be honest, it is rare for me not to encounter urine or vomit in the streets of Dublin City Centre. Why don't people have the manners and the self-control to use a bathroom or not drink so much. Oh I don't know, I must be getting old ;)
Dublin is very expensive. Ever since the Euro changeover, prices in bars have shot up. It's over €4 for a pint now...In fact, €5 or more for a pint is not unheard of.
You have been warned, mes cheries.
A new law has been passed banning "Happy Hour", so there is no chance of getting cheap drink around here now.
Oh yeah, smoking is banned in pubs and restaurants!
Be careful with hanging out in pubs too often: it's seriously addictive and your holidays will be over before you know it! Having said this, be aware that the most interesting Irish interiors are found in drinking establishments, so you don't really need an excuse to go for a wee pint!
This title might sound a bit strange, but if you try walking into a bar while already showing clear signs of being a bit hammered, you won't get in. There are bouncers everywhere (even at McDonald's) whose job it is to make your party life réally hard... Some of them are really nice, but others are just downright rude and brutal. There were many times that I saw that people weren't allowed entrance, even when they didn't look (that) drunk. Strange, but it almost always were "exotic" people that were denied entrance...
Dont forget that it is not allowed to drink on the streets in Ireland.
But if you feel very much like you want to- dont forget to hide your bottle :)
Be careful of how much Guiness you drink when you are at the brewery. You may get drunk or 'legless' as the locals call it and end up in a a goofy photo like this.