A Pint of Plain is Your Only Man


Posted by wendy | Posted in expat life | Posted on 28-05-2011

Before you think I am all awesome and literary, the title of this blog didn’t come from me. I got the title from 24 Great Walks in Dublin by Frommers. I got this book last time I was home at Borders for a song.

If you are ever going to visit Dublin, I would highly recommend this book. The book breaks up different interests of Dublin and got just enough information to be interesting. Now I have been here for a while, most of these places are the places I walk by regularly but never know the history of. So it’s kind of nice to put a place to a face sort to speak.

Since we were going to go to the city center (yarn shopping!) I thought it would be a good idea to do a walk. Dublin is not super walkable like Copenhagen or Munich, but as long as you are careful you won’t get run over. Though I almost got run over a few times, but I am bad at crossing the street like that.

We started out at my utmost favorite shopping center Powerscourt Towhouse Center. The place was built in 1774 and converted to a shopping center in the late 1980s. It’s a nice place to have a cup of coffee and hang out. And most important of all, it’s got a yarn shop!

After that, we started our pub tour! Note, we didn’t go to every pub on the list. That would ‘take half a day to all day, depending how thirsty you are’ according to the guide book. By the time we started it was around 5, and if we take half a day it would be too late to catch the train! And no, we didn’t drink in every pub, just one very important pub.

Pub 1 : O’Neills

This public house has been around for almost 300 years. And before it was a pub, 1,000 years ago, it was the Viking parliament called the Thing. Brilliant name! We didn’t go inside for a pint.

On the way to our next destination, we saw this busker playing a guitar made out of an oil can. He sounded pretty good! I love how people make musical instruments out of random items, so creative. There was also a little person dressed up as a leprechaun. I am all for people busking, but I find it kind of wrong. But whatever you got to do I guess!

Oh also passed by a random guy wearing a kilt texting. There must be some event going on because I saw several group of men wearing kilts.

Bunch of people wearing kelts

Pub 2: McDaids
This place is a famous hangout for writers. We went inside and it’s a really tiny pub with plaque of many famous writers. The decor of this pub is Victorian which I find very pleasing. It’s tiny inside though! Though we stopped in we didn’t get a pint. Start seeing a trend here people?


Pub 3 : Mulligan’s

Outside of Mulligans

This was our last stop. By now it’s 7ish, though it’s still bright out, the sky is starting to look angry. An angry sky, is a bad sky so making this our last stop was the most prudent thing to do.

I wanted to visit this pub because rumor has it that JFK enjoyed a pint here when he visited in 1945. James Joyce also wrote about it in Ulysses. The guide book said this is a classic example of working men pub.

I had a pint here!
My Pint!

It was yummy but I wouldn’t say the best pint I ever had! Sorry Mulligan’s fans!

Today happen to be some big rugby match. So Mr wanted to stay and watch it. We rooted for the guy in the red uniform, which was pretty dangerous consider everyone in the pub was rooting for blue uniform. While Mr cheered quietly with his pint, I mostly took photos and read the news paper.


By the way, the red guys won and we drained our pints and took the train home just in time for the rain to start.

It’s Eurovision Time!


Posted by wendy | Posted in expat life | Posted on 13-05-2011

One thing about marrying a foreign guy is that you get introduced to wonderful events like the Eurovision.

For you none-Euros, Eurovision Song Contest is like American Idol except the contestants came for each European country and they sing original songs. Each country gets to vote on others to see what the best song of the year is. Like battle of the bands, Euro style.

I love how each country put their heart and soul into the songs. I think the best thing out of all this is to listen to the commentary making fun of the other countries’ songs.

Anyway! Ireland sent out Jedward this year. My first exposure to Jedward was I saw their picture on some ad for fast food company. I had no idea who they were and why they were so popular. I guess I am just not in their demographics.

Then last month, I saw them on RTE pitching their song for Eurovision. Good lord, they are energetic. They are constantly talking and fidgeting. Just looking at them makes me tired. But I must admit, they put out a good song. It’s catchy. But they still make me want to smack them when they talk.

Behold, Jedward.

I was totally going like go Ireland, until I saw this entry from Denmark.

Good show Denmark, you guys knocked it out of the park this year.

Though you will face tough competition from Italy. After 13 years or absence, Italy has come back and is ready kick some ass and take names. This guy is awesome!

These are my top 3 this year. I know I am going to be glued to the TV on Saturday cheering on one of these guys.

Some fun facts about Eurovision:

  1. The song Volare was a Eurovision entry. I like Dean Martin‘s version better though.
  2. Abba won the contest with Waterloo. My my!
  3. Celine Dion sang in the contest. Don’t really think she has improved much since then.

Robbery… of a cat?


Posted by wendy | Posted in expat life | Posted on 07-05-2011

It’s just me and Oskar for the past week since Mr is away for 2 weeks working hard to keep Oskar and I in the life we have gotten accustomed to.

I have been living like a shut in for the past week. Well, that’s not really true, I walk Oskar every day. And just the other day an old lady accosted me and had a chat with me about Oskar. Well, she was doing most of the talking and it was pretty much all to Oskar. She said very little to me. I also said hello to the neighbor with the German Shepherd.

Anyway! Ann was kind enough to try to bust me out of this house by asking me to have lunch with her in the city center. We met up at H and F where I got this fabulous book.

Lady with shapley ankles It reads like a text book, but I find the whole subject intriguing so will be doing a book report later.

Oh we also saw Phil Lynott’s mom at H&F. Pretty random isn’t it?

Because my beloved Gruel shut down, Ann suggested we have lunch at Tower Records (I know, if you ever get nostalgic for Tower Records, it’s still exist in Dublin!) The food was mighty delicious.

After lunch we went to the food and veg market and they were having a 5 year anniversary party! We got some free desert and I snagged a glass of champagne. The market is very nice. Have all sort of imported foods such as Coco Puffs, Kellogs Corn Flakes, Oreos, etc. Super exotic. I have to go back and take pictures later.

As I was walking back to the station, I saw an exhibition by the National Library of Ireland. As a whim I walked in to see the exhibit. There’s a book from the 1300s, lovely, some photos, lovely, some more old books, great.

Then I came upon this little beauty :


This just beat all the other exhibits in my book.

From this handbill one can really feel the love Mr Irwin had for Ton. It also leave many unanswered questions. How did Mr Irwin know Ton didn’t just run away from home? What does it mean that the cat has a weak eye? Did he get his cat back?

According to the NIL site, base on the average earning £1 in 1872 is equivalent to about $950 today!!