Random musings from Dublin…

Hello from Dublin! It has been an action packed two days (sadly not that kind of action), and so far I’ve really enjoyed the city. A few random notes:

  • Light=awesome. I love being in places where it’s still somewhat light outside at 10:30PM.

  • Some people need to learn tour bus etiquette. Specifically, if you’re taking a hop on hop off tour and have the best seat in the house, don’t put your feet up and prevent anyone from sitting next to you on a full bus. I expect better, especially since said lady was a flight attendant for a major US airline (though how I know that is a completely different story).

  • Beer=disgusting. I want to like beer, I really do. It’s the “cool” thing. But no matter how hard I try, I can’t. Diet Coke with lime is just too damn good. I tried to sample some Guinness yesterday at the Guinness factory, though it was a failure. I couldn’t down more than a sip. Time for me to hit up the Diet Coke with Lime factory in Atlanta, I think. Do they also give free samples?

  • Dublin has the funniest store names. Knobs & Knockers, really?

  • I nearly caused a fist fight between cab drivers. This was easily one of the top ten most ridiculous travel moments of my life. Instead of asking the doorman at the Four Seasons to hail a cab, I decided to walk off the premises to catch a cab (not sure why, but don’t think there’s anything wrong with that). I’m used to being in places where customers are competing for cabs (like during rush hour in New York), and not places where cabs are competing for customers. So as I left the hotel premises I saw a cab speeding by and tried to hail it. He promptly stopped, at which point I heard probably 10 horns go off. What the….? As it turns out the cab queue for the hotel was just across the street. I hadn’t seen it, so was in a rather awkward situation as I had the cab door open for the cab I had hailed, while the cab driver was getting the middle finger from a dozen other cab drivers. Those cab drivers started getting out of their cars and calling my cab driver all kinds of profanities (including racial ones, since most of them were Irish and he wasn’t). I went to the first cab in the queue instead to be “fair,” though witnessed the most ridiculous shouting match between the “poacher” and the other drivers. Crazy…

More to come later. For now I need an ice cold pint of Diet Coke with lime. Cheers!

Filed Under: Travel
  1. Lucky, glad you’re having a good time! Btw, I’m with you on the beer thing :-). Regarding the taxis, I learned a long time ago that in Europe, you don’t break the taxi protocol. Unfortunately for me though, I was the one who got yelled at for trying to get into a taxi that wasn’t next in line to take passengers., lol.

  2. Lucky – if you want to try and like beer, Guinness is not the place to start! It happens to be my favourite pint but the flavour is unique and acquired!

    Nothing however, beats a cold diet coke with a slice of lime on a hot day.

  3. Dublin is an awesome city. Definitely tour around Trinity College if you haven’t already.

  4. Knobs and Knockers is a double entendre – door knobs and door knochers but also meaning parts of the male and female anatomy!

  5. For the record the world of coke gives you all the soda you can drink here in Atlanta. Worth a visit!

  6. I think you would really enjoy the Coke museum in ATL, though you may have to bring your own limes.

  7. Guiness is good! Did you at least master the art of pouring Guiness and earn your certificate in pouring the perfect pint?

    And since you’re not a fan of Guiness, does that mean that the Jameson Distillery was out of the question?

  8. Guiness is one of my favs but agree it’s not the place to start with introduction to beer. I’m still not a major beer guy, but your Diect Coke (make it Zero) and lime would be great as long as it includes some dark rum!

  9. W/ your affinity 4 diet Coke (which I share) you MUST come to ATL to visit the Coke museum. You can sample a bizillion different types from all over the world. Next door is the world’s largest aquarium, & CNN (great tour) & just this past week we had a groundbreaking for Human & Civil Rights Museum. ATL is much more than just a “layover” city… Not THAT kind of layover. Although.. Nah I’m not gonna say it. That should really wait for another post at another time LOL

  10. @lucky, you ned to try some good beer. Guiness is very heavy. Try a Franziskaner Weissbier, even better a Krystalweissbier( a bit lighter), or a Berlinerweissbier which has fruit or syrup. A Weissbier paired with a true Italin/European pizza is excellent. You can get some beers that are like wines and should be sipped. A favourite of mine is La Fin Du Monde(from Canada) with 9 percent alcohol. It does NOT have a beer taste. Let me know your thoughts.

  11. Diet coke – eww.

    Beer – good stuff!

    European Taxis: not always the case. In Gdansk, the taxis have VERY different rates, so you always choose the one with the best 1) car 2) rate. Some other cities are similar.

  12. Guinness is “very heavy”? A standard pint of Guiness has 4% alcohol and around 130 calories. That’s not heavy at all. Of course, if you like fruit or syrup in your beer, you aren’t going to enjoy any kind of stout beer. But hey at least some one in the world thinks a Berliner Weisse is “good beer” šŸ™‚

  13. Coins,

    It takes years of beer drinking before you can graduate to drinking Guinness. It’s a developed taste.


  14. I agree with chitownflyer. There are hundreds (thousands?) of other beers that each have a unique taste, many of them far more… palatable to a first-timer than Guinness.

    I learned this from an acquaintance who is a beer fanatic. Through drinking with him, I discovered beers I really, really like, even though I was never a beer fan before. One way to start on your own would be to look for the style called IPA (India Pale Ale, which has nothing to do with India) and sample a few. I’d be surprised if you tried 6 or 7 artisanal IPAs and didn’t end up liking one at least a little!

  15. I think perhaps Guinness is the wrong beer to use to break into beer. Perhaps something with kinder taste…like rolling rock.

  16. You should come with us to Belgium next year for the Zythos beer festival. I guarantee you will find some sort of beer you like.

  17. @toomanybooks, beer festival in Belgium sounds excellent. Hoegaarden and Lambecs are awesome.

  18. Lucky, Lucky, Lucky,

    Your German ancestors would be ashamed. Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy. Keep trying!

  19. Small point,, a place where beer is made is a brewery, not a factory:) I got brainwashed as a tourguide at the Heineken brewery, which was my student job… Needless to say which beer I suggest you to drink to get use to beer šŸ™‚

  20. I’ve been a beer drinker for about a decade now. You know what I’ve learned in all that time? Exactly two things.

    1. Order draught beer whenever possible. Bottled beer is just shy of pointless. Canned beer is just shy of an insult.

    2. IPA’s suck. šŸ™‚

  21. Lucky, you should just move to ATL, where Coca-Cola owns the city and Diet Coke flows like a monsoon.

  22. As said by others , Guinness is surely not the kind of beer to try first. You should try a “beginners” beer , something a bit fruity or at least “soft”when it comes to the taste .

    . Hoegaarden : white beer , usually drank with lemon (

  23. and not lime !) or even any kind of fruity belgian beer like “Kriek” (cherry ), which are beers laking the “bitter part” !

  24. I hear the Guinness Brewery tasting room has been improved since my wife and I visited in 1997. At that time each visitor received a token for a pint of beer. My wife were given several tokens from Americans who toured the brewery, but wouldn’t drink Guinness.

    We got a great beer buzz from that tour.

  25. Interesting observation by you about the racial tensions among the Dublin taxi drivers. It was something that I had been warned about by business associates from Dublin and that I experienced first hand last year. As a person of colour, it is next to impossible to get a taxi in Dublin in the late evenings – the white drivers simply ignore you, even at taxi stands. Allegedly this is because the drivers have had poor experiences with being stiffed for fares by some immigrant communities in the past. There are some taxi companies that now sort-of “specialise” in taxis for black/brown passengers and I was advised to call them for a cab if I ever had a need. This was also discretely advised to me by the hotel bellman, so I don’t doubt there is some history there. On the one occasion that I did wind up being put in a random hailed cab by a (white) business colleague, the driver centrally locked the doors and windows and refused to release them at my destination until he was paid and had counterfeit-checked every single bill he had received.

  26. Next time when flying through ATL, stop in for a diet coke at Chic-Fil-A. They have these crazy coke machines with about 20 varieties of diet coke. If you can’t make it to the Coke Museum, a nice alternative. May even be worthy of it’s own post.

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