I’ve realized recently how much I’ve grown to dislike Dublin. It’s great as a place to visit, but as a place to live it’s basically the same as England, except with more chavs than Coventry (I kid you not), more obnoxious people (not all of them, but those who are, well, they’re worse) and all at a much higher price. I must admit I have a moan every so often, but I generally try to keep myself upbeat. A good way to stay upbeat seemed to be to think of places that living in Dublin is preferable to. It’s as good a way to pass the time as any! This is what I came up with, the five places from my travels so far that I would least like to live in, in reverse order:
5. Coventry (UK): I lived here for an entire year at University, and as much as I had a great time, the city is just dire. Ugly, dirty, and the local population walk around like they’re going to punch you in the mouth should you accidentally smile in their direction. Nicknamed ‘the car park of Great Britain’, probably because it’s full of chavs drinking and wrecked cars. It also has the highest striped trousers and brown-paper bag vodka to person ratio I’ve ever come across. Highly un-recommended.
4. Dublin (Ireland): No, I’m not joking. I actually prefer Coventry to Dublin as a place to live. In a way, the two places are very similar. The rest of Ireland refers to Dublin as ‘Western England’, and it basically is, albeit with more interesting architecture and a bit more of a history than the average English city. Dublin is so overpriced it’s ridiculous, however, and the only local pastime worth mentioning seems to be drinking. With the obvious drawback that you have to take out a mortgage to actually do it. Also, unbelievably, there are actually more chavs than Coventry, and they’re more annoying too. To top it all off, every one of them is a die hard Manchester United or Liverpool fan, but somehow combines this with a passionate hatred of England. Ridiculous.
(big gap – Dublin is nowhere near as bad as these last three!)
3. Gaeseong (North Korea): Living under the Kim Jeong Il regime would be a nightmare. Fantastic place to visit, a real cultural experience, but I’ve been to more liberal church fetes. I’d love to visit Gaeseong for a couple of months; I could even live with a bit of false-leader worship for the sake of the experience. But to have to live here forever more would just not be worth it. Repressed, starved and culturally backward, and just not interesting enough to make up for it.
2. Mandawa (India): All the bad sides of India, with none of the good ones. Open-air sewers mean the entire city constantly stinks to the point where it’s almost impossible to sleep. Beggars not only on every street corner, but on almost every metre of street, and all of them so poor it’s painful. Very few redeeming features, and stuck in the middle of a vast desert of nothingness. Awful.
1.Kumgangsan (North Korea): See Gaeseong. Except Kumgangsan has North Korean law, but a South Korean tourist industry that you just can’t escape from. To live in Kumgangsan would be to live in a fake village year round, amongst mountains that you can never climb, in an endless loop of dodgy buffet dinners in a guilt-inducing environment surrounded by starving guards and false luxury. To top it all off, you wouldn’t even have the chance to experience the culture for real.
So did that cheer me up? Well it made me think, at the very least. As I’m sure you’ve gathered, this hasn’t been the best of weeks. I wish that was the only reason I’ve had enough of Dublin, but it’s really not, I just don’t like it here. Helena is the only reason I stay, and she’s a fantastic reason, and more than enough to make up for how much I dislike the city, but I’m happily counting down. 61 days to go.
In other news, Helena’s sister had her baby on Sunday. A little girl. I haven’t had the pleasure yet, but I hope to go down and have some hugs soon. Cute! Helena’s birthday was good, if a little quiet. I bought her a bongo drum, which I was a bit unsure of but she seems very happy with it. That’s pretty much it really. St Patrick’s Day tomorrow, let’s hope it improves my opinion of Dublin!