Yesterday, I wrote an entirely half-hearted blog post about not truly understanding Dublin. I did not really get what was so different about it comparable to Pittsburgh outside of road systems, accents, and cuisine; today, I was able to learn far more about Dublin’s differences, why those differences exist, and where Dublin heading in the future.
Before I get into the history though, I need to briefly mention the food; in short, I never want to leave this city. I have had two meals out so far, and at each meal I have gotten some variation of buffalo wings. Not only have they been unique, they have been insanely delicious. First there were mango habanero and tequila lime buffalo wings which were quite literally the best wings I have ever eaten. Then, at meal two, there was a buffalo chicken sandwich with iceberg lettuce and some sort of cabbage on a crispy bun that was too large to even keep together; again, this was the best sandwich I have ever eaten. Apologies for the digression, but it’s my blog post and I will go completely off topic when I so choose until Dr. Lada docks my grade.
Anyways, we took a walking tour of the city guided by a historian, Tim, who was extremely knowledgeable about Irish history. Much of it was new to me, as I neglected to read my Irish culture book (sorry y’all, I wanted to throw myself in with as little knowledge as possible to really feel out a new culture for the first time), and as a history buff, I was completely ecstatic. I did not know that the Vikings were involved so heavily in Dublin’s history, nor did I know about the specific ways that early British colonial rule affected the Irish national identity. Interestingly, the most trivial fact that we learned throughout our entire tour was that Edmund Burke was Irish, but this probably threw me for more of a loop than anything else. I always thought of him as an Englishman, which by extension, means that I assumed the father of modern conservatism was English rather than Irish. This actually gave me some endearment to the country as a libertarian since it tied my own personal philosophy to the culture and history of Ireland.
Speaking of things that endeared me to Ireland, I love rebellion a whole lot, and as one might imagine, this drew me in to the culture of Dublin. Listening to Tim sound cynical about his government’s practices thrilled me, and the overall attitude in Ireland that Tim spoke about with regards to government action made me extremely happy. On the other hand, I am still quite unsure of how I feel about the Irish people on an individual level, as I have not gotten to interact with many of them on a personal basis; that will be my goal for the coming days. In this regard, today was a success: I grew closer to Dublin whilst widening my knowledge of how it was different from Pittsburgh, as well as giving myself the future goal of interacting with more Dubliners.