Thursday, March 23, 2006

Observations

It seems the women in London and Dublin where much more makeup than in the states - many appear to be capable of keeping a small cosmetic manufacturer in business single handedly.

With all the money spent on cosmetics, I'm guessing there is little left over for clothing as the tops the teenagers are wearing appear to be several sizes too small. Forget the bird flu, I'm surprised there's not a chest cold epidemic going through London.

Does anyone work in this town? I now sit in a train / tube station at 9am in the morning and it appears filled with commuters hurriedly on their way to work. But, when I was walking down Oxford St yesterday, the sidewalks were absolutely filled to capacity - and it was a cold afternoon.

Hyde Park is big. But, mostly empty. At least the section I walked through. I'm sure on a summer day it would be filled with people, but not yesterday.

I visited 4 museums yesterday, but don't think I've even started to make a dent in visiting all the museums that are available - the majority having free admission. In this regard, I've seen no city that can match what London has to offer.

It's cold.

The difference between Dublin and London are very pronounced - from the architecture, the size of the streets, the type of stores that line them and the people. London is like a bank - proper, somewhat uptight, structured. Dublin is like flea market - the city evolved to become what it is, a bit random in what you'll find, the people are more weathered and social interaction is a bigger part of life. The London population is much more diverse with a large Indian and Asian component. Even with a very large student population (including adults in Dublin to learn English), Dublin remains primarily an Irish community. There are some Asians, some Polish, but the black population is quite small and some of the local comments indicate some prejudice - or perhaps lack of familiarity - exists. While walking through the Dublin streets, I saw the faces of many childhood friends in the faces of the people I passed. I often wanted to stop people and ask if they are related to so-and-so. It was so prevalent that it was scary.

It's cold.

1 comment:

matt kane said...

From "Ireland for Beginners":

Irish people and the weather:
It is often said that the Irish are a Mediterranean people who only come into their own when the sun shines on consecutive days (which it last did around the time of St Patrick). For this reason, Irish people dress for conditions in Palermo rather than Dublin; and it is not unusual in March to see young people sipping cool beer outside city pubs and cafes, enjoying the air and the soft caress of hailstones on their skin. The Irish attitude to weather is the ultimate triumph of optimism over experience: Every time it rains, we look up at the sky and are shocked and betrayed. Then we go out and buy a new umbrella.