The ABC, according to Coke
Trip Start Dec 03, 2005
38Trip End Jul 19, 2007
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I eventually decided that it was time to venture outdoors and see what Dublin had to offer the emigrant. Not much has changed since I was last home but there have been so many major changes since I last lived here.
For starters, there's now a motorway around Dublin that links the northside with the southside. Why they called it the M50 I'll never know 'coz I'm sure there aren't 49 other motorways in the Republic! I had some very long journeys whilst trying to get from what was A to B. It has changed and now appears to be A to D via B and C, or the motorway. OK, so the roads are not as I remember them but what's with this kilometers rather than miles thing? Progress, I hear, is what it's called. Unfortunately, with this progress and motorway comes urban sprawl and new houses and apartments are sprouting up on the hills around the city ("The hills are alive, with the sound of traffic"). Whilst I agree entirely that the population is getting bigger and this needs to be accommodated, I am a believer of the upwards rather than outwards philosophy. Having said that, high rise buildings would compromise the Georgian and low rise beauty of the centre. This can only lead me to say... 'I remember the day when...'
With transport also comes the Luas, the modern tram if you like. Nothing much to write home about as I haven't been on it yet, it seems to serve limited areas. Long term, I think an underground would have been a better solution. It would have meant major upheaval for a bit, but I'm sure traffic congestion couldn't be any worse than it is right now anyway!
And of course, how could we forget the environmental and health changes that have been introduced - no more plastic bags (unless you pay 15c each for them, have yet to see how paper bags fare in the rain) and no more smoking indoors in public places. So that's why there are so many outdoor heaters!!
Not only are there transport and environmental changes, there have also been financial changes in the form of currency. The Euro now replaces the good oul' Punt, ah I remember it well. I felt like a complete tourist having to look at the coins as I paid for goods trying to work out what I was handing over. Something I feel that has yet to develop with this new fangled currency is the slang terminology for it. I haven't yet heard an equivalent of 'quid' or 'bucks'.
So already feeling like a tourist in my own country, I decided to get into character and took my camera into town for a few pictures. I had a wander around Temple Bar and Grafton Street following other tourists and being snap happy. I don't mind acting like a tourist, but I will draw the line at going on an open top bus tour. They are good if you have limited time but I have never been a fan of them really.
One amusing thing I noticed while I was sat waiting for a bus (the one home, not the open top one I hasten to add!) was how things change while really staying the same. Stick with me on this one and you'll see sense in my madness.
There was a group of schoolgirls sat beside me reciting the alphabet. I looked around, thinking that being teenagers they should know that by now, to discover them using a can ring-pull in the same way that an apple stalk was/is used to find out who you're destined to spend the rest of your life with. I'm pleased to say that Aoife was thoroughly delighted to discover Eamonn was the man for her!
And finally, before I go, I would like to introduce you to my new travel buddy. Here was me thinking that I'd be going it alone. A small single white female all on her lonesome. But only the other day, at a school bazaar, did I meet another traveller who was keen to join me. Best thing is he doesn't mind photos so he'll happily oblige when I need a subject and fight off those unwanted admirers. Meet Bitzer...