The brown Stuff
I have always thought that the phrase 'Brown Thomas' sounds like a pupils at a minor public school. Wheather the 'Brown' is a surname or a nickname, I'm not sure.
Either way, Brown has always been associated with rather negative things (As the 'brown stuff hits the fan', for example) and I don't buy the idea that 'Brown is the new black'. Black is black and always will be. In Dublin however, 'Brown' as in the store 'Brown Thomas' is seen as a mark of quality.
In the department store (in Grafton street) recently, my wife called me over to look at something. Now, my wife is the sort of woman who couldn't walk past a lampost without buying a T**d, so i was a little alarmed. There was even more alarm when I leant I had to look at cushions. Cushions ! are you serious.
And then I saw it. A Cushion covered in Swaorvski crystals - a mere snip at 400 Euro. My trousers turned mysteriously brown at that point.
Thankfully, she was stunned as well, and didn't want to purchase the damn thing. Relax I thought you old sourbugger.
Sunny spells with scattered showers
Both times we were in Dublin the weather was pretty much the same, sunny at noon, raining at 2pm, sunny at 4pm, so and so forth. Some people might find this a bit discouraging but after a couple of days I got used to it, no matter how sunny it was outside when I left my hotel I packed either my raincoat or my umbrella and used them both frequently.
It's also useful to have a plan B even though walks and outdoor activities are conducted regardless of the weather. I just don't find it pleasant walking in the rain in cooler temperatures so we found a couple of nice museums to pop into when one of the scattered showers appeared.
Irish weather forecasts are fairly useless, someone laughed at us when we asked what the weather would be the following day and said that no one really bothers with them as the weather system could blow this way or that way.
Watch out for spades.....
This tip is only 170 years plus out of date....if I take you back to the 1830's then the pride of Dublin at the time for Irish catholics would have been the recently opened Glasnevin Cemetry. The high walls and watchtowers with their faintly gothic feel bear down on anyone approaching. Those walls, turrets and employed watchmen are there for a reason - BODYSNATCHERS ! Even if Hare and Burke, the most famous of the breed were Irishmen, they didn't dirty their own doorstep as they practiced their trade mainly in Scotland. Plenty of others saw an opportunity to make some cash...and fast.
On the plus side, the precautions worked. Not one body is thought to have escaped the cemetry - a record they hold to the present day.
What a rubbish exchange rate !
I was surprised it still happens - but it does !
Back before the days of the Euro, it was quite common for shops in Dublin to accept pounds sterling. In those days the two currencies only had about a 5 per cent difference between them - to the advantage of the retailers, naturally. As this avoided the costs of exchanging currency at the port / airport / bank it didn't matter too much for small amounts.
The practice still continues. I was at the port petrol station in September 2008, and the gent in front of me didn't have enough euro in cash for his fuel. He handed over 10 pounds sterling - and got very little back in change. The 'exchange rate' was still one euro to the pound - but he lost out this time by at least 20-25 per cent. You have been warned.
As an Englishman in Ireland, i thought i would have no problem with the language...
However, i would estimate that OVER 50% of the 18-30 population i met was east european. there are streets where all the shop signs are in Polish, Lithuanian or Cryllic.
So brush up on yr Polish
When on the Luas make sure you have a valid ticket to ride on the tram other wise you face getting a fine if caught. They will ask you for ID and even if you say you have none they still have CCTV on it, so pay the fare and not the fine !Related to:
- Budget Travel
This happened to me last week, I had bought a return ticket from Dublin to Wexford on the internet, luckily for me a friend of mine was on the same flight and offered me a lift to Wexford, great idea no waiting around for buses. Only when I was on my return journey I was wondered if my outward trip would have affected my return ticket and yes you guessed it.........it did. I couldnt use that ticket and had to purchase a single one. I have applied for a refund only to be told that there is a 5euro handling fee charged. Be aware of accepting lifts it doesnt always work in your favour.
It can happen you know.
It is quite possible than in a semi-inebriated state in Dublin you may have an uncontrollable urge to buy some appauling touristy piece of tat.
Do not worry, help is at hand in the form of Carroll's Irish gift stores.
Every conceivable Irish sterotype from Leprechaun underpants to shamrock splattered sheep aprons can be found here.
To be fair, there is some tasteful 'Guinness clothing' , rugby shirts and the like, but the tat seems to win out every time.
Branches can be found like a rash through the tourist areas :
Upper and Lower O'Connell street
St Stephen's green shopping centre
After reading alot of warning and dangers we were lucky we didn't see any trouble and no drunks in Dublin.We found the local people were really friendly and helpful especially the Garda's
Reputable Tour Buses
Make sure you do not start a tour with a bus that may not make it!
We were 4 days into our 10 day trip through Ireland when we ran into a little trouble with our bus, finally resulting in it having to be towed away! Luckily we had not yet boarded it!
Enjoy Ireland, but make sure you have reliable transportation!
this is not an extremely dangerous city,still use the same precautions you use everywhere;be careful with drunk young guys, saturday night,that are looking for troubles,just do your own business and everything will be fine.
I hope you have a one euro coin...
A few years ago quite a large sum of money was spent to make Dublin airport bigger and better. As part of this process someone had the bright idea of replacing the tired old luggage trolleys with some new ones. So far so good. In the spirit of the new capitalist philosophy (that has swept away many of the traditional values that tourists come hear to experience), they had the bright idea that to protect the trolleys from - well something - each user would need to deposit a one euro coin. Now this isn't a terrible idea in a supermarket but as someone who travels through Dublin airport two or three times a month I cannot count the number of times people arriving from countries with currencies other than the Euro are prevented from using the trolleys... If the purpose of the exercise was to stop anyone from outside the european monetary union using the trolleys then this has been a huge success. Conspiracythreorists might notice that our larger island neighbour has retained its own currency. An Irish airport authority demanding a euro may be part of a larger animosity going back 800 years....
Learn the lingo
You will find in Dublin alot of people use slang.......here are some examples
whats the criac...means how are u any fun etc....
farting around....means not doing much etc
heres a good Dublin slang dictionary...you will find it quite funny if your not from Ireland
You can usually spot a scumbag a mile away.....scumbag is Dublin slang for a robber....thief...bad person etc....they usually wear tracksuits(sweats for u americans)...and basball caps that look like there going to fall off the back of there head....they also usually have a small mustache......pathetic attemp to make themselves look older :0)...stay away from these people :0)
I only found one danger while there in Dublin, the story of which I relate in the Travelogues titled "After Action Report". It's a long tale, mostly providing the summary of one of the best trips I've ever taken. Included in this tale of happy times however, is one important fact I overlooked while there. Color.
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