Monday, 3 January 2011

Where the names have no streets

What's the richest country in the world?

Ireland, because it's capital is always Dublin.

Aye Thang yewe.

I've spent a bit of time this evening floating around above the Irish Republic. I was actually looking for somewhere that I'd been to when I visited Ireland years back.

I came over on the ferry and needed to find a place to pitch my tent, but I was in the middle of a city. So I took a bus as far as it would go. It went south, and dropped me off in the middle of a housing estate near a hill. I found a nearby field and started to unpack.  A local girl saw me, and explained that if I did this, I'd probably get mugged/stabbed/set on fire so I packed up again and started walking up the hill.

I'd walked through customs with a bit of weed on me. I was totally casual about it, because I'd totally forgotten I had it with me. Anyway, they weren't stopping anyone. Just glancing at passports. But I'd had a bit of a toot on my pipe, and now here was this girl telling me that I'd be lucky to survive the night.

I got the fear, man!

Then a group of young people turned up. The oldest was in his mid teens. The youngest was about 8. They were passing a spliff around, so we had a talk and a smoke, and they told me to go right up the hill out of harms way. So this is what I did. I slept hardly at all that night, and spent the next day putting some miles between myself and wherever it was I'd stopped.

In fact just about everyone I met was nice to me. No bad stuff happened but everywhere I went, people were advising me, "Don't go to Cork. It's stab city". "Stay away from Wexford. They'll suck your eyeballs out and feed you to the nuns".

Anyway, that's what I've been looking for. A sink estate on the south side of Dublin with a hill just to the south of it. I suppose it would help if I could remember some place names. I ended up on the road to Naas the next morning.

Floating above Ireland, there are millions of little red circles with names next to them. In other parts of the world, these represent towns and villages and cities. In Ireland, they  mark the point where two hedges meet. Or the middle of a field.

Places like Quinsborough

Or Corbally

or Crooksling

or Lugg

twinned with Lugmore...

 Ah those crazy Irish people. Since they have all these towns, it's obvious that they need to build lots and lots of houses.

Oh, hang on...

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