Sunday, 13 November 2011

Ha'penny at Night

We crossed the Ha'penny bridge one evening about 8:00 PM and stopped for a photo.  It's funny we never noticed how much the bridge vibrates.  It seems so solid when we walk over it.  However, placing your camera on the railing and trying to take a slow-exposure still shot when people are walking by tells another story.  That bridge is rather flexy!  Anyway here is a calm November night.  Usually there is a sad-sack beggar perched at the bridge's apex, where the wind scours the bridge coldly.  With barely a whisper they mumble a "please help Sir," as tourists tromp by.  I've only given money to the beggar with a bunny in his lap.  You see him around town sometimes.  He has that concentration-camp thinness and bony fingers.  He lovingly strokes a well-fed bunny and seems like a lost soul.  He will give you a wide-eyed startled look when you drop a euro in his cup.  Poor fellow.  He's the only one I really feel sorry for.

The other beggars in town are stumbling skangers looking for alcohol money.  Don't believe their bullshit; they are not looking for, "two euro so I can get home on the Luas."  Two euro will get them a can of cider with 50 cents to spare.  That's the dirty side of Ireland they never print in the glossy tour brochures.  The travel companies will sell you on thatched roofed cottages, tin whistle music and images of the burren.  The reality is Buckfast bottles laying next to the wall, and Dubliners from council housing with their ugly nasal accents.  It really is the worst accent in the world.

What does the Dublin accent sound like?  hmmm.  Imagine that Cockney accent you hear on East Enders, got it?  It's a little bit like Eliza Doolittle from Pygmalion.  Ok good, now imagine all the actors on East Enders have bad head colds and the director has told them to pronounce the letter 'i' like 'oy'.  Then imagine they have all been gene-spliced with Donald Duck.  THAT is the Dublin accent.  There is even a cartoon on RTÉ Two that pokes fun at it.  The cartoon is called Dotzy about a little twerp on social welfare, who lives in council housing and would rather play video games than get a job.  The sad thing is, when you walk down O'Connell Street you really see people like that.  Sigh.  They wear the latest Adidas track suits and brand new Puma trainers.  I always get a laugh when these asshats beg for change out in front of a Centra (like a 7-11) because you know they only want money for liquor.

Perhaps I am a heartless bastard, but when baggers in Dublin go, "spare some change?" I have been known to reply with, "Pay my student loan?"  They've got some balls asking me for money.  If anything, those bastards owe ME money.  My taxes pay for their wasted time, regular methadone doses and free emergency room visits.  You're welcome.  If I were king, people on the dole would be out there doing public service, earning their keep, not sitting around smoking and drinking soyder (aka. "cider").

1 comment:

  1. The Dublin accent is the worst accent in Ireland, if not the whole world!
    I agree with you about the image of Ireland that an Bord Fáilte hawks. They show you all the nice things, but don't tell you about the anti-social behaviour or the beggars. Or the fact that Dublin is kinda ugly :-).