there is no german word for "hashtag"


My third day in Dublin.


Today I walk in yet a new direction, to see what I can see. All this time I've thought that the street I'm on runs east to west, but today I've come to find that it runs closer to north-northwest by south-southeast. This perfectly demolishes my (yet tentative) sense of local geography.

Street near hostel
The street near the hostel that I went down today.
Manhole cover
A manhole cover on that street.


So I'd though yesterday morning that I was heading north, but who knows what direction I really went. Today I set out in a direction that may not be north, but surely at least has 'north' in its name.

Urban decay?
Urban decay?
The window of a shuttered building.
A little steeple on the same building.
A little steeple on the same building.


I walk through a number of residential neighborhoods. Again, decay sits cheek-by-jowl with affluence and cleanly comfort. But, as I've thought before, is 'decay' the word? Is this the status quo, or are things changing in one direction or the other? Perhaps what I mistakenly see as 'decay' are really the last unchanged remnants in a long trend toward gentrification and renewal. And the whole debate (in my head) seems founded on the odd assumption that newer and cleaner (and higher-rent) is fundamentally better than old and worn.

'Off Licence' = Hibero-English for 'liquor store'.
'Off Licence' = Hibero-English for 'liquor store'.
An alley behind suburban homes.


I stop into a pub and ask the barman about the phrase "Off Licence" that I've seen on liquor shops everywhere. It sounds sort of illegitimate, as though they're peddling moonshine under the nose of the law even though they haven't got a license for it. But the barman, however germane the term might seem to his line of work, seems unfamiliar with the etymology.


(So later I looked it up: "Off Licence" means a license to sell alcohol to be consumed 'off' the premises, as opposed to a pub, where you'd drink it there.)


I cross the Royal Canal again, then wander charming residential neighborhoods, where I discover a rare passage between buildings (they're usually connected one to the next) and come to an alley between the backs of rows of houses. Are these storage rooms? Garages?

A church somewhere in Dublin.
Monastery gate
Gate of a monastery.

また聖堂に出会う。今度は修道院の付いている所だ。えっ、修道院!まじで?僕も修道士として入れてくれるのかな。厳密に言うとカトリックでも何でもないけれど… そういえばどこかの大聖堂の高い鐘塔を下から覗いたとき、膨大なスピーカーが見えたんだ。あら。

I come across another church, this one with an attached monastery. Really? A monastery? (Would they accept me? I'm not technically Catholic...) In the bell tower of one of these massive cathedrals, I caught sight of loudspeakers...

National Botanic Gardens
The National Botanic Gardens.
A sundial. (I like sundials.)


I wended my way to the National Botanic Gardens. If there's a subject I know less about than botany, I can't think of it. But it's a lovely place.


Attached to the Botanic Gardens is Glasnevin Cemetary. This was my first cemetary of the trip.

Glasnevin Cemetary
Glasnevin Cemetary ("Ireland's Necropolis").


I feel a little overwhelmed at, not so much the reminders of death, as the evidence of the sorrow of the bereaved.


On each of the tombstones, some more than three hundred years old, there is a message composed by a sorrowful survivor.

Old gravestones.
A tower in the cemetary.
A memorial to revolutionaries.


The Irish custom seems to be to inter family together, so that many tombstones are engraved with additions to the original epitaph, reading "Also..." "Also..." "Also..." (To inter family together is also the practice in Japan, but here they do not write the names of each individual member, just the family name.)


And this gradually lengthening epitaph often finally terminates with the name of the person who had originally dedicated the tomb or grave plot to a dead husband, parent or child.


I feel a little overcome with emotion as I stroll.


It's said that male longevity is a little shorter than female. Is this in part because we men can't bear to bury our women? So we depart first and leave the women to bury us?

A Dublin library.
Library steps
The library steps.


On I walk, spending money at all opportunities. Travel is like going to the casino: you don't expect to take home any of the money you've brought with you.

Blessington Street Basin
Blessington Street Basin, with Dubliner goose.
Hello, goose.


I wander into something called Blessington Street Basin and see ducks and swans. Swans? Geese? Taxonomy isn't my thing. Anyway, this isn't a sight I've ever seen in the heart of Tokyo.


I catch sight of a giant stone edifice in some olden-days architectural style: What is it? In Dublin, all the buildings look like this. It could be a church, a government office, a library, a university, an auto body shop, or even "TO LET"... This one turns out to be a hospital.

This building turned out to be a hospital.
Pint of Beamish
Had some soda pop for lunch.


Since I can't be bothered to plan a route and don't have access to my phone's map app (not having reception in this country), I use church spires on the skyline as a point of reference. But there's a problem with this tactic: I often end up accidentally using a different church spire than intended and getting even more lost.

Tourists photographing tourists
Tourist photographs tourist photographing tourist.
Sorry, I don't speak Dutch.


So my day sort of went like that, and ended like that. Perhaps because of jet lag, I ended up not staying out very late.


I've realized in doing this blog post that you're not likely to get a sense of a lot of what I saw because I'm not posting photos of all the random buildings that I took pictures of. The Dublin I saw and paid attention to was in large part composed of buildings unlike what I've seen back home. So I think the next blog post will be a big compendium of photos of buildings.