Monday, March 9, 2009

On Friday, Mark and I agreed to stay in (well, sort of - we wanted to see the author Pat McCabe spin records, but we didn't realize it was happening so early and we missed it). I looked forward to a relaxing night of sloth.

We live in a part of town called Drumcondra on the upper third of a long street called Richmond Road. If you head up one end of our street, toward Drumcondra Road, where our little grocery store is, a few pubs, and where we catch the bus to town, it's quite nice. But if you head in the other direction, it gets a little shady -- not so much during the day, but later at night. If you're on the bike, you zip through without a care, but walking, I just wouldn't recommend it. For our night in, we decided to check out a liquor store at the shady end of the street to see if they had a better beer selection than Tesco (the supermarket) and the not-so-great Off-License store (aka Liquor Store) nearer to our place. It was still early, before nine I think. We walked there, no problem, went in, made our selection quite happily (they did have a better selection as we suspected!) and then on our way out, there was this group of 4 or 5 teenage boys standing just outside the door. One of them sort of stood almost as if he was going to get in Mark's way and he said, "YAW RYE?" in that lovely Irish way of not enunciating words. I have no idea what would possess any kid, especially a scrappy one about five foot nine in height, to mess with Mark, who towered over him at six foot four. But my theory is that maybe they heard us talking on the way in and thought we were some dumb Americans. Mark replied in as Dublin an accent as he could muster as one of the boys made a farting noise.

There's just really nothing worse than a gang of teenage boys. But you can't give an inch. So Mark and I walked along and instinctively gave a bounce to our walk, the way gorillas do in the wild when they feel intimidated. Having taken self-defense classes, and having been in a position of defending myself against assaults, I know that what they say about the "fight or flight" syndrome really is true. You've got to either run or fight. Anyways, they were just a bunch of stupid kids, the likes of which I have passed tens of times before, but it was annoying to be so blatantly sized up in that way and then have to ready myself in my mind to stick my fingers in someone's eye sockets if need be. Gee. I hope I'm not freaking anyone out. It's safe here, I swear! Just typical life in any city! But I'm writing this because it's leading up to a theme of personal space that you'll see over my next two posts...


  1. haha, i'm sure that if it came down to it, you and mark could've made minced meat out of 'em (the image of which is adorable/awesome)

    i need to take self-defense classes...: /

  2. i anticipated the encounter since i grew up here, and knew exactly what he was gonna say before he did, so you just affect as disinterested and superior a demeanour as you can.

  3. I am looking forward to see how you tie them to this adventure!

    Just to let you know, my herb garden is growing, and doing a good job of it! The stems are about 2-3 inches. I figger in about three weeks I will be able to thin them out and, with the weather seemingly getting warmer, they should be useable real soon. I am looking forward to the adventure of having herbs at my disposal when I am cooking and especially making salads.

    Bye, love you.