Saturday, February 8, 2014

To Dublin!

An Irishman at the airline office in Moscow:
- Give me please two tickets to Dublin.
- Kuda, blin?
- Tuda, blin!

(c) Russian joke. See explanation a the bottom.

Every Russian should visit Dublin at least once, just for the sake of this old Russian "Tuda Blin" joke. Maybe it's the early wake up when I had to be in the airport at 7 AM, but for me the fun started right there: every time a I heard the words "To Dublin" I mumbled "Kuda, blin?". And it does not get old!

Anyway, my new team is located in Dublin so I may find myself spending some time here every now and then.
Dublin (old Irish name - Dubhlinn, which means "black pool") has lots of old stuff, which is pretty exciting for someone who grew up in a city which is only a 100 years old. A 800+ y.o. castle, churches, etc -

Here's the famous Door Of Reconciliation in St. Patrick's Cathedral, where Gerald FitzGerald "chanced his arm" 500 years ago:

(Of course, I put my arm through the door imagining myself to be a knight in dirty damaged armor. You know, as they say - "A knight in shining armor never did nothing for nobody. He never fought. A knight in dirty, dented, and scraped up armor, now, that’s the kind you want.")

But I wanted to see more of Ireland - not just Dublin! Being hesitant to drive on the wrong side of the road, I took a train to the western part of the country to spend a weekend in a small village near Galway. Imagine huge green areas with sheep, cows and big nice houses. This is how I'll remember the west side:

That, plus storms, heavy rains, winds and +7C. Side note: I'm so glad I came to Ireland in January. This will help me appreciate the weather in San Francisco (or anywhere, to be honest!). It's been raining almost non-stop for weeks. I haven't seen sun for more than 15 consecutive minutes here.

Guinness is a really big thing in Ireland. I took a tour of the Guinness Storefront where they show how they make beer - and, of course, let you try it. :)

National Gallery in Dublin turned out to be quite small, but it has one Van Gogh painting, which I really liked:
And several amazing paintings of Jack Yeats - these alone make the Gallery worth visiting. Couldn't take pictures of those, but you can see a slideshow on BCC website.

All other pictures are here.

And here's the explanation for the joke in the epigraph: 

An Irishman at the airline office in Moscow:
- Two tickets to Dublin!
- Kuda, blin? (English: To where, blin?)
- Tuda, blin! (English: To there, blin!)
"Blin" in Russian is a mild swear word, something like "damn it". "To Dublin" sounds just like "Tuda, blin". So it looks like the Irishman asks for "two tickets to there, damn it". What makes this joke funny is that he understands the question in Russian and having been misunderstood in English he replies in Russian too, this time actually saying "to there, damn it!"

1 comment:

Salome Torres said...

This is great Alex! Very authentic and fun to read. Thank you! :)