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Clouds setting on this awful development...

One of the great things about being in Germany and not Malaysia (for the time being), is the ability to go back home to Ireland whenever you want – if, of course, you want. So far, that’s meant I’ve been able to be back three times in total this year; which would have almost certainly been only once if we were still in Malaysia, if at all. This weekend, I made a very impromptu ad-hoc last-minute (you get the idea) visit just for a couple of days, to be back at home, sort out things that can’t be sorted abroad, collect my degree finally, etc. So what’s noticeably different if you don’t live in the place?

 

To start with, those hideous mixed-use buildings that were thrown up a year or two ago by McNamara (on the left), which can be seen from the Rock Road, are still there. I knew they would be, but they’re so hideous to look at, not to mention that their status as the highest rise buildings in that vicinity allows you to see how empty they also are – and they’re very empty by the looks of things. So empty in fact, that when you do see people walking around the area, you sort of get a fright. And that’s not the only thing – it might not be so obvious if you’ve been living at home and witnessing it slowly, but main streets of various townships around Dublin are abysmal in their present lack of shops and their oversupply of retail units ‘to let’. Seriously. Some places are obviously worse than others, but I was really taken aback by how many places have vanished in just the 7 or so weeks since I was home last time.

 

I’d actually go so far as to say that, if you see a shop, it wouldn’t be safe to say ‘I’ll come back in a few weeks’ because you really couldn’t bet, it seems, that it’d even be there in a few weeks.

 

Yep, terrible weather...

The summer. Before I came over, people seemed to be posting messages, tweets, etc telling of how dire a summer it was turning out to be this year – either they were very uncomfortable with the truth, or I’ve just managed to handpick the best time of the year to be home. Honestly, with the exception of the very odd shower on Friday, the weather couldn’t be better. I actually got slightly sunburnt in fact. And if there’s one thing I will say about Ireland, it’s that even if the cheapest sales and the best discounts aren’t getting anyone to come out and spend some money, the weather always does. Walking down Dun Laoghaire pier the other afternoon, you could well be forgiven for thinking most of Dublin was also taking an afternoon stroll.

 

A short queue to 'conveniently' drop your bag off...

But the time really flew in this time around and I was kept busy looking after my own matters, looking around and taking in the changes of the place and enjoying the great weather. This morning, as the sun came out (and the same time as I got up, around 4am), I couldn’t even believe the time was done already – out to Terminal 2, where I’m pleased to report that the ‘spaciousness’ of the place is already dwindling as queues stretched right across the building, with waits in excess of half an hour to drop your bag (having already checked-in) and again for security. Hmm. The less said on that the better perhaps.

Until the next time!

Reformed backpacker & former ultra-cheap traveller, Andy now atones for his past by overspending on premium travel experiences and failing at making the most of the miles & points game. Based in Malaysia, he is a product manager by day, and travel aficionado by evening and weekend.