The first thing I did when I landed in Dublin Airport’s Terminal 1 was give myself a higher risk of heart disease.
Seriously, we Irish have a tendency to believe that we aren’t here for a long time, but for a good time.
The other famous saying about Irish people is a joke is a serious thing, and a serious thing is a joke.
When it comes to a culture of bad diets and heavy drinking, that joke becomes a serious thing all right.
I think I’ll be coming back to Taipei a couple of kilos heavier for sure (pounds for my American amigos who are afraid of Spanish and the metric system).
Take aways from Ireland
I didn’t realize until a day ago that I haven’t stop drinking since I arrived.
Usually in Ireland I would only drink on the weekend or for a special occasion, but I keep finding myself with a drink in my hand here.
It is easy to have a drink when you are on holiday in your own home for a few days.
In my village, there are 7,280 people, with five pubs for everyone, as well as the pubs in surrounding areas.
It is easier to go for a drink than to see a doctor out here because waiting times are between 1-2 weeks.
Funny thing is, in Taipei, you can see a specialist in a matter of hours, but you’d be lucky to find an open bar in your district, never mind a few clustered together.
Ireland is a place with four seasons in one day
One second you are freezing, then you will be roasting and after being blessed with blue skies, you’ll have a healthy dose of hailstones, followed by blustery winds with rain, but you’ll still be too warm.
The weather in Ireland is very bi-polar and makes Taiwanese weather look predictable. Even in the country, for the whole day I couldn’t decide if I was too hot, cold or in between.
Rome wasn’t built in a day, but Dublin was
Despite these nice pictures, you can rest assured that Dublin, like many cities in Taiwan, wasn’t built with much forethought or city planning behind a lot of the decisions.
Sure, there are many pretty buildings, but for the love of god, can we please get our act together with public transport.
And for Taipei, can we please have footpaths. Seriously, I’m sick of having to walk on the roads half the time because the local governments didn’t think to plan for parking when more people decided that a scooter or car is a convenient means of transport.
God I missed the art in Dublin
The affordability of these hand-drawn prints is what I enjoy most about them. There are plenty of affordable little artists in Taipei who make some amazing stuff, but unfortunately, they are not given the platform or art studios to showcase their craft.
I miss the pubs in Ireland
I mention BeerGeek a lot to friends and you dear followers all the time. The place has an atmosphere and a nice general ease to it that makes a bar.
This bar below is called Mary’s, a bar on Dublin’s Wicklow Street. Although it is next to tourist busy Grafton Street, it has some old charm from the countryside.
You can buy a pint of Guinness and your hardware for some DIY at home.
It also feels like you are in your grandparent’s home drinking, something I didn’t dream of doing until I was 16 (it’s Ireland, nobody cares about the legal age too much).
Some random pictures
Dublin is full of places to take a snap of, and even after almost being away for a year and a half, not a whole lot changed; except some graffiti and the realisation that even mundane streets feel interesting after being away for so long.
While many parts of Dublin continue to be become gentrified, there is still something left over that is uniquely local to Dublin life and Irish life in General, something I see often in Taipei, albeit in a different, but still similar manner.
I get all the birds
I met an American guy in Stephen’s Green and he gave me oatmeal to feed the pigeons with.
Was quite pleasant to have that many birds around me and sitting on me without being pooped on.
Cheese, cheese, and more cheese
Okay, sue me, I think cheese in Taipei is too damn overpriced for what it is and I will gladly come back with enough vacuum-sealed cheese to be questioned if it is a fetish.
I stopped by a cheese specialist for my girlfriend to give her a taste of some ewe milk gouda cheese, or some nice cheeses from across the continent that don’t cost and arm and a leg in an over-priced Sogo in Taiwan.
My time in Ireland didn’t feel like a holiday. Part of that could be put down to the fact I was working remotely during my time, but I’d like to think it was because Taiwan and Dublin have both become my homes.
It is a weird feeling to return home after so long and having the same emotion you usually do after waking up from a nap on a lazy Sunday; slightly disorientated until you realise where you are.
It is a nice feeling to know I have homes in Taiwan and Ireland.