Small discoveries in Dublin

I can fit a book in my coat pocket. And a bottle of wine in the other.

There are a lot of bookshops. And bottle shops.

Asking for ‘a pint of your finest’ yields Guinness. All other drinks require specificity.

Most conversations involve at least one phrase that I simply do not understand.

‘Your man’ reliably turns up in conversation, and roughly translates as ‘Old Mate’. The quirks of the language are adorably possessive.

Music is lifeblood. Violins, guitars and drums are standard accessories, slung over backs across the city. People hum and sing to themselves – in queues, while selecting detergent from supermarket shelves, on bikes.

Warmth takes priority over style.

Hipster style features – peaked caps and elbow-patched tweed jackets – are not nostalgic affectations. Nobody ever stopped wearing them here.

Whimsy wins the battle with order.

Like the English, the Irish have yet to discover the joys of single-faucet hot/cold taps.

Pub toilet doors are places for lines of memorised, scribbled, sublime poetry, just as much as phone numbers and dick cartoons.

Don’t expect cafes to open in the mornings or on Sundays. Don’t expect people in service positions to be nice to you.

Do expect surprising warmth and hearty chats from strangers. People always seem to have the time.

‘One swift pint’ does not mean one pint, nor will it be swift.

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