ireland is kind of a weird place. there seems to be a prevailing sense of time and arrangement in this country that makes everything just a little bit chaotic. punctuality is not a word that translates into hiberno-english and organisation doesn’t roll off the irish tongue too often. a lot exists just under the surface of irish culture that is not readily visible until you spend a good enough amount of time here to see how things kind of … don’t work. except for that they do and that is the ultimate paradox about ireland
let’s take the public transport system, for instance. ok way back in the 1800s, dublin had a rather high-tech, ahead-of-its-time tram system that went throughout the city. just at the time when most of the other countries in europe were beginning to develop their high-tech public transport systems, someone in ireland had the great idea that this tram was a waste of space and money. so they let the thing go and ceased to use it. now, 150 years later, they have reinstalled this high-tech tram which we fondly call the luas. unfortunately, the luas does not go anywhere that is at all necessary for me to ever even think of going, so i never take it.
there is also dublin bus, which is the biggest farse of public transport to hit the modern world. at almost every bus stop, there is a “timetable” (aka graffiti stand) listing the schedules of when each bus is meant to leave it’s terminus and how long it takes between stops. what happens, in actuality, is that all the busses leave their termini at the exact same time, so that you are left standing with one shoulder to the wind and rain for at least 30 minutes until the time when ALL SEVEN BUSSES arrive to your stop.
oh, and we can’t forget the so-called port tunnel disaster, wherein a bunch of dublin officials decided it would be a grand idea to build an under-harbour tunnel from the north to the south port dock areas in the interest of diverting excess industrial traffic and large tonne trucks away from the city centre. really a very good idea, as many irish ideas seem to be – in theory. the thing is, no one thought to measure the tunnel’s width and height during the design OR construction process. so the result was an industrial traffic tunnel which was not physically large enough to accommodate the trucks it was purposely built to divert.
on a final note, i would like to share today’s weather forecast with you. this forecast comes directly from met eireann, also known as the irish meteorological service.
29 February 2008- updated at 13:00
Windy and wet.
Very windy early tonight, winds moderating later. Occasional showers.
Becoming wet again during Saturday and windy later also.
and that, my friends, is ireland in a nutshell.