Friday, June 06, 2008

Dublin Milk

There are few more traumatic experiences that a young man can suffer than to draw back the curtains of a stinky Dublin hotel room and find his nakedness scoffed at by a gurning urchin perched precariously on the window sill.

That's when I knew it was going to be a bad holiday. The auguries hadn't been good up to that point; Dave the Brummie had stomach cramps on the flight, Nina drank too much gin and was rude to a stewardess, and Keith and Karen were on the verge of splitting up and spent the entire journey swapping sarcastic bon mots.

Dublin: city of exquisite Georgian architecture, former inspiration for the genius of Joyce and Beckett, cradle of Oirishness gleaming by the softly flowing Liffey.

My arse.

When we got to the hotel/hovel there was nobody there: no lights, no welcoming smile from a pretty receptionist, no fuck all. After several phone calls a pissed munchkin turned up and informed us that " de owners have gone to de Cheltenham Gold Cup and oim lookin' after de guests till dey get back". The swaying dwarf then escorted us to our rooms, although he obviously had no idea which rooms we were supposed to be in as singleton Dave the Brummie (who still had stomach cramps) got a family room, Nina and I got a squalid little wardrobe in the basement, and Keith and Karen were confined to an attic garret.

During the course of our stay we enjoyed dirty hotel rooms, miserable bastard Dublin bar men, and ubiquitous urban drizzle. It was so depressing that even copious amounts of Guinness and Bushmills failed to lift our downtrodden spirits. I tried to cheer things up by suggesting we visit a south side Dublin bar, where tourists never ventured and where the real milk of human kindness Dublin bonhomie still lingered. Unfortunately Keith got into a political argument with a drunken harridan who accused him of being "no better than a fuckin' Black and Tan" and "the spawn of Satan". We were ejected.

And that was that. Dublin: rip off capital, cockpit of miserable bastards, armpit of humanity. It's no wonder Joyce and Beckett got out of the place as fast as their legs could carry them.

Still, things could have been worse. At least we didn't meet Bono.


Sniffy said...

Trump says that Dublin is nice. But everyone I know says Dublin is a fab place. Then again, all those people spend every second drunk out of their skulls. Would a tee total visitor to Dublin find anything of any interest to them? I doubt it.

garfer said...

I've had good times in Dublin, it's just that since the place got rich a lot of the natural friendliness has vanished.

A pity in a way, but I spose it's better than children begging on the streets.

Piggy and Tazzy said...

I've never been to Dublin.

But, like Sniffy, almost everyone I know that has been all say how great it is.

Like the lot Sniffy know, they are all pissheads too.

We loved Belfast though. Both drunk and sober.

garfer said...

Dublin is great, that was just a holiday from hell that coloured my view somewhat at the time.

Belfast is much friendlier, which isn't surprising as nobody used to go there (for obvious reasons).

MJ said...

I take it Dublin won't be the setting for your next lost weekend?

garfer said...

Most emphatically not. I may try Kabul.

Piggy and Tazzy said...

We found Belfast very friendly when we went to see SID and his wifey.

Momentarily scared at one point when we realised we'd been sitting getting drunk in an IRA pub on our first night there.

It took us a good 24 hours to understand why so many questions were asked of us. We just thought they were either being friendly, or nosey cunts.

garfer said...

They probably thought you were in the Black Watch, what with your shaven heads and all.

Lucky escape.

pissoff said...

When I was in Belfast after a night of drinking I asked someone if they could "give me a ride home?" Innocent question if you ask me?

I wish I had a name like Nina. Nina is much nicer than Pissoff. Maybe I should change it.

garfer said...

How about 'Pissoff the Pretty Ballerina'. Much nicer than Nina if you ask me.

Piggy and Tazzy said...

How about 'Pissoff the Trailer Trash Squaw aka Nina Ballerina - the After Dark Girl'?

garfer said...

Nah, that sound too much like a Country and Western song.

How about Pissoff Petunia Percival. That sounds quite aristocratic.

Arabella said...

First time I went to Dublin as a grown-up (without family) I was robbed in a phone box. You never really get over that.
Years later, living in Galway, I used to go for the day on the bus, hit M&S for underwear and then get the hell out of Dodge.
The Liffey stinks, but I have a happy childhood memory of my Mother sitting us down on one of the bridges after she'd just bought a book of Spike Milligan poems, reciting 'On The Ning Nang Nong' and us falling about laughing. Better than Joyce any day.

garfer said...

Aye? And which bridge was that?

'The steel behind the laugh, the Four Courts burnt'

Spike was manic, a lot worse for it and none the worse for it.

Herge Smith said...

Dublin is nothing special. I like Belfast more.

That is all. Beautifully written post as always Mr Garfer, I thought for a second that this was the opening to a novel, would be great. Even has a good title.