You’ll probably fail college. It’s grim, but true. Well, that’s if Dublin doesn’t get you first. Everything in the city is out to get you. The bus drivers, the Tierney Building and probably somewhere along the line, I’ll screw you over.
It’s mainly the people you’ve got to look out for. It’s impossible to pin down the population of Dublin into a finite prejudicial stereotype that’s a healthy balance of the truth and damning insults. They sort of live on a pH scale of extremes like Northsider-Southsider and scumbag-metascumbag.
James Joyce wrote a book about Dubliners, called Dubliners, though even that didn’t quite cover all the sociopaths that live here. He forgot to mention the story about the three boys held at BIC pen-point on the 145 bus to Kilmacanogue over a €5 note, or the tale of the girl who paralyzed her legs outside Wezz disco after applying too much deep heat to fend off those January chills.
Over the years I’ve found Dublin atones for its lack of affinity towards its law-abiding population by providing a vibrant anti-social scene. If Dubliners aren’t threatening you with the tip of a ballpoint pen, they’ll probably be robbing you in broad daylight, both figuratively and literally. This happens to me on a daily basis.
I’m lucky enough to live on Upper Leeson Street. An ideal midpoint between the city centre and Belfield, but also blessed with the Most Expensive Newsagents in the City (Patent pending). Just between us, we’ll call it Spentra
This particular Spentra outlet has either suffered a perniciously traumatic childhood and is now deciding to take out all pre-existing rage on its customers. Or it has amnesia and still thinks we’re in the height of the Celtic Tiger and not the current Rangers Tiger we’re faced with.
Car parking around my area isn’t exactly plentiful either. Look up the antonym for “copious”, multiply that by ten and then you’ll have a grasp on how difficult it is to find an allotted 2.5 x 5 metre space to leave a car.
However, there is a particular car parking space in my area that seems to emit a pheromone to attract anti-social behaviour. The space itself seems fine. What doesn’t fill me with confidence are the fresh shards of glass that surround it on a daily basis.
Every day I watch a new person naïvely park their car there thinking all their Christmases have come at once. I should warn them, but this is Dublin and like in Final Destination, bad things have to happen. And if they don’t happen to other people, they’ll land at your feet and you’ll be faced with a situation where some Garda will end up blaming you for parking in the spot in the first place.
That’s all frivolous in the grand scheme of things though. Most important of all, Dublin robs you of privacy. In fact, the day you move to Dublin is very similar to the day you join Facebook, except in this case, there is no amount of privacy settings tweaking that will prevent your neighbours hearing you belting out ‘Defying Gravity’ in the shower.
This invasion of privacy happens on various levels and to different extremes. If you’re really lucky, you might be able to pass by life in Dublin with a non-offensive nickname like laptop guy or the girl who lost class rep elections to RON.
Then again, you could become a library celebrity sensation during the study week and have hundreds of people gather on your Facebook appreciation group to comment on every single aspect of your physical appearance.
In my case, I’m having boundary issues with my neighbour’s cat. It insists on sitting on my neighbour’s windowsill every morning and watches me get dressed. It’s rather unnerving. I’ve nicknamed it Schrodinger hoping it’ll be found dead in a box someday.
It’s impossible to avoid these sorts of intrusions into your life while living in Dublin. Though, it’s usually tit for tat. You’ll get to know intricate aspects of other people’s lives as well.
Myself, I have an unhealthy knowledge of my neighbour’s urinary tract infection. Periodically throughout the night it is impossible not to hear them trudging across the apartment above towards the toilet looking to relieve themselves.
Back to Schrodinger, though. Little quirky incidents like these should be treated with caution. When I saw him for the first time, I immediately thought of the worst-case scenario. Schrodinger is clearly trying to communicate a message to me that his owner died a few weeks ago and he has ran out of food after devouring Ms. Franklin’s corpse. You may think that’s a bit farfetched, but it’s best to think big and reign in your mind later.
I’m actually quite anxious to see if she’s okay. I’ve first dibs on her parking space.