An Irishman's Diary
40. Sweny’s chemist.
41. Joycean plaques in the footpath, like literary manhole covers on underground works.
42. Seeing the names of exotic, far-flung destinations you’ve never heard of before on Dublin buses.
43. Wondering what life must be like there. Where is “Ongar” anyway?
44. Place-names you just enjoy saying: Fishamble Street. Stoneybatter. The Longmile Road.
45. The intensely colourful Zone 3 of the Luas Red line: Goldenbridge. Blackhorse. Bluebell. Red Cow.
Things I hate about Dublin:
1. Hawkins House.
2. Just about every other house built between 1958 and 1980.
3. The state of the footpaths when it doesn’t rain for a while.
4. The part of the boardwalk that every seagull in the city seems to crap on.
5. Panhandlers at ATM machines.
6. Panhandlers everywhere else.
7. Clampers lurking around every corner.
8. The loop-line bridge.
9. The lights on the tip of the Spire that were supposed to glow softly but instead look like a strip of tinsel sellotaped to the outside.
10. The city’s habit of building phallic monuments that, unlike other cities’ phallic monuments, tourists can’t climb.
11. Chain stores taking over Grafton Street.
12. Being expected to call the Grand Canal Theatre the Bord Gais Energy Theatre. Ugh.
13. Having to walk the wrong way up the footpath in Westland Row at 5.30pm, with four lanes of fast-moving pedestrians coming the other way.
14. All those buses heading out of town to the teeming suburb of “As Seirbhis”.
15. Men urinating in doorways.
16. People who don’t clean up after their dogs.
17. Percussive leakage from ear-phones on public transport.
18. You’re strolling along Dawson Street, all chilled out. Then an amphibious bus-load of tourists pretending to be Vikings suddenly passes and roars at you. Very annoying.
19. It’s not even a real roar. They have it recorded, because the tourists are too polite to do it themselves.
20. Grattan’s Parliament being occupied by a bank.
21. And what’s worse, Grattan’s Parliament being occupied by a bank we had to bail out at vast expense.
22. The East-link toll bridge. Only one lane in each direction. No room for anything but cars. Ugly as sin. Had paid for its inadequate self many times over and is still charging.
23. Christmas lights in early November.
24. Ditto Christmas music.
25. Walking through Trinity’s front square at night. Then, realising the feckers have locked the door again, you have go back out by the Nassau Street entrance, where you came in.