Mighty Life List
Sep 8 2010

Ireland Firsts

Things I’ve seen in Dublin that I’d never seen before:

- Advertising signs with a measure of humility, “Probably the best coffee in Dublin.” And subliminal truth in advertising, like placing the “cereal bars” right alongside the candy bars:

- Ketchup in tomato containers:

- They don’t offer you bags for small purchases here. I bought a juice box, an apple, and a yogurt this morning, and the guy just gave me change and turned away.

- Giant golf umbrellas are totally acceptable for use on city sidewalks, and indeed seem to be preferred:

- Ashtrays with chimneys:

-This miserly toilet paper dispenser, which distributes a single square at a time from the center of the roll:

23 Responses to “Ireland Firsts”

  • laura Says:

    Ireland has a tax on plastic bags…. most people carry shopping bags because of this. :) Shops will give you a paper bag if you ask, but they are expensive, and the assume most people don’t want one in a “convenience” shop like Spar. Ireland has such fat rain, you need golf umbrella’s on footpaths. :-) Also they are the only type of umbrellas that survive our autumn/winter/spring/summer winds.

  • famousamy Says:

    Good stuff. Always nice to see things that are different in other countries.

    But we have “ashtrays with chimneys” outside my office. And various places around here. And I’m from the Cincinnati, Ohio area.

  • Zoe Says:

    The humble coffee advert will have been referring to the Carlsberg’s “If Carlsberg did..” campaign that is quite routinely copied in the UK/Ireland. Admittedly the campaign itself is a great nod to the sense of humour on this side of the Atlantic.

    I adore the yellow coat that the person under the golf umbrella is wearing! Oh, and those silly toilet paper dispensers were prolific in my first-year University halls, where the TP would otherwise be stolen/soaked and used to decorate the walls. Great times.

  • the duchess of amboy Says:

    This sweet post left me a bit jealous and also reminded me of a DMB song, “You & Me”. I was also going to point out that there are ashtrays with chimneys all over my newly-green city, Pittsburgh. I’ll bet San Fran never really had such a heavy smoking population like this old steel town.

  • kellygirl Says:

    Find a McDonald’s and try their Curry Sauce with McNuggets – deliciously weird.

  • Ms. Huis Herself Says:

    Oh, you must try a Moro bar the next time you’re near those candy bars. I lived in Ireland for 2 years, and they’re the treat I miss the most! Also, Ballymaloe country relish/tomato ketchup stuff is delish.

  • Therese Says:

    Tourists wear raincoats. A local will carry a brolly but wear wellies.

  • Jessica Says:

    I love Dublin; one of my favorite cities! I’ve seen those ashtrays in many different cities and states.

    I look forward to more pictures. Hope you’re having a great time, Maggie.

  • Chris Says:

    Those Mars bars are super yummy. Go back and get one!

  • Rose Says:

    I live in Dublin! I’ve been reading your blog for ages and it is tickling me pink to see your photos, especially the one of you from the other post with the Liffey in the background.

    Social experiment: Try bumping into someone on the street. THEY will apologise.

  • JSweet Says:

    Most of that crazy stuff has one obvious thing in common: they actually respond to the huge worldwide environmental melt-down and change how they live! We are so dumb.

  • Jean Says:

    Wait – are you sure you’re not in Boston?

  • Kristen Says:

    Few things are as cute as Ireland.

  • Annie Says:

    Oh the smoker’s pole. Which also exists in DC. (There’s just no way to refer to the smoker’s pole that doesn’t sound dirty.)

  • Amelia Says:

    Two years ago my little family (who live in Scotland) met my mom and stepdad (live in the US) in Dublin. My daughters were 4 and almost two then. We had a fabulous time. Highlights: St. Audoen’s church which is part ruined, part restored. We stopped there every day and my daughter thought it was her own personal castle. Also good with kids: the zoo and fabulous park. I recommend the bus tours oh, and don’t forget to hit Penny’s which is called Primark in the UK, it has fast fashion (cheap and cheerful) and is so much fun.

  • Dawn Says:

    We went there this past year. Loved Ireland. I enjoyed the hop on hop off bus tour, saw a lot in just one day. We rented a car and stopped to let an older gentleman cross the road and he was shocked, came over and said thanks so much! You’ll have a great time.

  • Leslie Says:

    I liked all of those things until you got to the TP dispenser… I have needs. Sometimes those needs exceed one square (I’m sorry to be so vulgar…).

  • Mendy Says:

    When I was in Ireland, I had to pay .15 euro for a plastic bag. Was told there had been too many plastic bags thrown out of cars and was ruining the beautiful scenery, so they put a tax on them.
    I hope you have a beautiful time, love.

  • cousin Colleen Says:

    While in Winnipeg last weekend I found they have a similar policy regarding plastic bags. Perhaps we Americans will eventually wake up and realize that we may still have the power to affect our future. It’s worth hoping, anyway.

  • Shilo Says:

    People who use golf umbrellas in inner-city areas are the biggest jerks since those people that try to get on the bus before those departing have yet to disembark.

    I seriously, seriously loathe golf umbrella users. It’s SO selfish.

  • melissa Says:

    just moved to ireland for a 2 month stint and i love the tomato ketchup bottle. saw it at gourmet burger off grafton and have resolved to find one!

  • Diane Says:

    I thought tomato-shaped tomato ketchup things were the ultimate in kitsch Americana? Either way, I love them.

    I kinda love the toilet paper dispenser too — I’m in the UK, and see them more and more. They’re really easy to use (you can get more than 1 sheet, obvs) and so much better to those dispensers where the roll comes shooting out all over the floor. Wow, who knew I could write so much about toilet paper dispensers?

  • tea_austen Says:

    Are you still in Ireland? If so, a tip:
    McVitte’s Digestive Biscuits with chocolate *and* caramel (the gold package, I believe). Dangerously good, and nearly impossible to get back home.