As Kimya Dawson once sang: ‘I am the wanderers’ wandering daughter’,
I may have exiled from Dublin and found a new lease of life overseas, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t things about my hometown I don’t miss!
Here are a few notable ones:
I miss seeing ‘BONO IS A POX’ graffitied around Dublin city
Someone asked me if Irish people liked U2 the other day and in trying to explain that I think Irish people like the band but have a certain distaste for Bono, I remembered the hilarious un-stylised ‘BONO IS A POX’ scrawling, subsequently started laughing my head off to myself and was unable to finish my sentence. The Australian guy I was talking to definitely thought I was an unstable person at this point, but that choice of phrasing is just so funny to me and so typically Irish. I think Irish fans are the best in the World – always so supportive of their own – but if you get a little too big for your boots then you can expect to be publicly knocked down a peg or two in hand-scrawled blatant dry Dublin insult.
I miss walking through Dublin city on a sunny day.
Although Melbs can sometimes be as unpredictable weather wise as Dublin, in terms of Sunshine Melbourne is certainly warmer and more consistent. The thing is – as it’s the norm for it to be fair weathered in these parts – a sunny day just doesn’t carry the same atmosphere it does in Dublin. Nothing beats strolling down South William Street on a glorious sunny day and seeing elated people sitting outside the various cafes and fancy eateries; stretching and soaking up as much of the sunlight as they can like cats in business suits. You can guarantee your Facebook feed will be full of the inevitable ‘Caribou-Sun’ YouTube links and ‘Cans in the Pav?’ statuses – knowing you can rock up there and see a host of familiar faces seamlessly blending in with the Trinity students; who are also shamelessly partaking in casual daytime inebriation.
I miss overhearing things in Dublin
Speaking of ‘the Pav’, during one past sunny occasion there last year – with the backdrop of the Trinity cricket team practising in the distance – I overheard someone refer to the sport as ‘Playing rounders in your Sunday best’. Overhearing Dublin witticisms like this, or just bizarre conversations on the Luas or the street from those under the influence (or sober) is something I really miss. As Melbourne is a million times more multicultural (38% of the population were born overseas!) there are thousands of different people in any one place at the same time – not like in little ol’ Dublin where isolated incidents of hilarity are easier to overhear.
I miss being understood.
What a melodramatic statement that is, but I don’t mean it that way. I mean I miss being able to say things like: ‘’Did you see the coffee anywhere? I thought it was in the press..’’ and not be stared at blankly by my housemate who has no idea what: ‘’In the press’’ means. Ditto goes for ‘Deadly’, ‘Grand’ and ‘Yer wan‘. Mindfully having to swap: ‘Heya!’ for the Aussie equivalent of: ‘How ya goin?‘ is something I will probably never forgive myself for, and upon seeing you again in Dublin if I ever happen to greet any of you with this phrase, please step on my foot using force.
I miss Irish food
I love food and I love eating. Who doesn’t? It’s only when you move country you realise how much you took for granted the food you wouldn’t have considered otherwise. Like for instance, chocolate. Cadburys in Australia tastes so bad. I mean, REALLY bad. They also seem to have a obsession with some bar called a ‘Cherry Ripe’. I don’t want your Cherry Ripe Australia, I want a fucking packet of Minstrels (Which I can’t purchase here – ditto for Buttons, which is just as devastating.) Sausages over here are a no-go, meaning the hangover fry is not nearly as satisfying. (Speaking of which, what I wouldn’t do for a big breakfast crepe from Lemon. Good god.) You can’t even find solace in Nando’s, as in Auz it’s seen as Subway-esque type food chain (not somewhere you’d maybe go on a date) and has an extremely limited sauce selection – no halloumi cheese on the menu – and only bottled drinks. Imagine not being stoked about getting a Nando’s. I didn’t ever think it would come to this.
I will say Melbourne has the absolute advantage over Dublin when it comes to coffee though. Coffee in Melbourne is next level and unlike Dublin – where the vast majority of people favour the likes of Costa or Starbucks – Melbournites are big about their independent coffee shops and take the art of the barista very seriously. It’s so refreshing to live somewhere where Starbucks does not hold the coffee monopoly! I once saw a sticker in a coffee shop window that said:‘Friends don’t let friends go to Starbucks’, and I have to agree. Once you taste a Capp made in a Melbourne coffee shop you can’t go back. Actually on that note – I think I also saw a sticker somewhere that said ‘Friends don’t let friends who are in Australia go without minstrels, buttons, Irish sausages and adequate Nandos. Perhaps you should send them a parcel containing these items’.
– Aisling Abbey