Wide Awake in Wonderland

We’re only dancing on this earth for a short while

My goodness, my Guinness August 19, 2008

I imagine tourists have always been a hazard: Looking up when they should be looking for traffic, stopping suddenly when they spot a souvenir shop, clustering together in large, slow-moving groups. All of this was enough. But give a tourist a phone and the ability to text message their friends back home while walking slowly and ambling into traffic…and they’re practically a deadly weapon. Who knows? Maybe I’d be just as obnoxious if I still had my Blackberry. But I don’t. And I can’t figure out how to work my “fun phone”, so I guess that makes me neither part of the problem, nor part of the solution!

There is a peculiar thing in our society of wanting to go somewhere different, but not really want anything to change: not the food, not the language, not even our habits. I was at a hostel here in Ireland a few days ago where a guy from New Zealand spent all day, every day in the common room working on his laptop. When I stopped in and started looking around for an electrical outlet, he pointed out every single one in the room. Kind of makes you wonder why he bothered to leave New Zealand, where it might have been cheaper, easier, and even more scenic to surf the web all day?

As for me, I don’t need things to stay the same, but it turns out I’m not all that interested in shelling out pound after pound (now euro after euro) to see faux entertainment drummed up for the tourists. Case in point, my visit to the Guinness Storehouse. I don’t have any hard facts on this, but I would guess it’s the number one tourist attraction here in Dublin. I can’t imagine what would beat it. Anyway, I’m not sure why I was gung ho to do this. I know how beer is brewed. In fact, super thick dark beer is the easiest kind to make! I would know, I made some as part of a class (earned chemistry credit for it, in fact) in college. Overly sweet wine is pretty easy, too.

Anyway, now I know how Guinness is made (roasted barley and the water does NOT come from the River Liffey, which is good news because that water looks pretty dubious. The guide had to answer this question TWICE, by the way (?) ), and I got my free pint at the Gravity Bar. Although I suppose it was semi-interesting and the view from the bar was nice in a gray, cloudy, rain-soaked kind of way, I couldn’t help but thinking that for the price of admission, I could have had five pints of Guinness and needed someone to carry me home. Maybe next time?

If nothing else, it was kind of amusing to see all the people coming out with giant shopping bags branded “Guinness.” At any given point, it seemed like a third of the town was carrying one of those bags. One is left wondering if Guinness might make more money off merchandise than they do beer here in Dublin? Sadly, I have not room in my backpack to load up on Guinness t-shirts, magnets, bottle openers, signs, posters, plaques, sweatshirts, and glassware. However, and again I don’t have any hard facts, but I bet they’ve got a web site where I can order up memorabilia to my heart’s content once I get home! Now I have a way to get the matching Guinness leather jacket, pants, and baseball hat combo I was eyeballing!


4 Responses to “My goodness, my Guinness”

  1. Maxxy Says:

    I’ve never been to Dublin, but I can safely say one of the things I wouldn’t do is visit the Guinness Factory thing. I don’t like guinness, or any other alcahol for that matter. I just don’t drink. ( Ok, so I do drink, otherwise I’d be a frikkin Cactus, but you know what I mean ).

    I’m trying to persuade the missus to go to one of the Greek islands for a week, for some sun and rest, but she’s having none of it. Apparently they’re all foreign there……….go figure !!!!! LOL

  2. Quirky Indian Says:

    You might have suggested to the Guinness lot that they start manufacturing mobile phones as part of their merchandise…..that would have taken care of your problem!

    Quirky Indian

  3. wideawakeinwonderland Says:

    Well, Maxxy, the Greek islands are part of the tour (Paros, Santorini, and one other whose name/spelling escapes me at the moment), so when the time comes – still a couple months from now – I will give you the full update as to how ‘foreign’ it really is!

  4. wideawakeinwonderland Says:

    I know! They could’ve extorted an additional 75 euro out of me and missed the boat! Maybe it could have been a phone with a bottle opener in the back? Pretty much everything they sold there seemed to double as a bottle opener.
    As for the phone, I’ve got to figure out what to do about the stupid thing. Right now it works well as an overpriced alarm clock. And I need it tomorrow to call the lady in Schull so she can come get me at the bus station. Here’s hoping I can figure that out. I am completely dense about the universe of placing international phone calls. It boggles the mind…

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