Friday, 7 September 2007

Going AWOL


So I've left the blog to my old mucker zero_zero_one over the last few days. It's mainly due to a combination of trips to Dublin to sort out visas, job applications, and being all "writed out" from trying to finish off my damn thesis. Seriously, if I never have to read an article about cultural relativism again, it'll be too soon.

Anyway, I wasn't much impressed by Dublin, although I suspect it's one of those places that grows on you. What was most interesting about it was how similar it was to Glasgow and Liverpool - obviously the Irish connection. It had that same style of quietly magnificent Georgian architecture, the same mixture of poverty and new-found uber-development from European money, and the same sort of people - friendly and talkative but with an undercurrent of genuine steel.

It was especially similar to Liverpool in that it seems to rely heavily on past cultural glories for a sense of identity: in the case of Dublin it's James Joyce and W. B. Yeats; in the case of Liverpool, it's the Beatles and Roger McGough. Admittedly Dublin's references are slightly more highbrow. But there's the same sense of being defined more by the past than the future.

One thing about Dublin is that if you've studied a bit of Irish history you recognise most of the place names from dim memories of school text books. I enjoyed seeing Pheonix Park, site of the famous murders, for instance. It was also nice to be in the spiritual home of Irish Republicanism, given that my dad's side of the family are so into that aspect of Glasgow life, being Celtic-supporting mass-attending weejies. So I took a look around the Sinn Fein shop in honour of them, and also the Japanese connection, Shunsuke "He eats Chow Mein and he votes Sinn Feinn" Nakamura.

4 comments:

zero_zero_one said...

Well, I'll cross Dublin off my list of places to go then...

Good to see you're alive!

noisms said...

I didn't think it was a bad place to visit, really. I'm sure you could spend a nice week there, just like you could probably spend a nice week in Liverpool if you came here on holiday. It's just, well, it's not Paris, or Amsterdam, or Madrid, or Prague, or London, or...

Andrew Fry said...

I considered moving to Dublin in 1985 when Microsoft opened an office there. They were shifting some localization efforts to the office with about 100 job openings. It turns out that was just the start of a big technology presence in the country. I noticed MSFT alone has about 1000 job openings listed currently. Did you notice a big tech presence?

noisms said...

Yes - all around the outskirts of Dublin it seems there are all sorts of new developments: lots of business and technology parks. Actually I'm sure life there would be pretty good - it's in the Eurozone so prices are reasonable enough, and the economy is seeing stratospheric growth at the moment.

But there's still a lot of poverty around, and some neighbourhoods you wouldn't want to spend long in at night...