If you’re thinking that this blog title sounds familiar, it’s because I also almost got pick pocketed in Rome. You would think that I had the word, ‘sucker’ tattooed on my forehead. And I get it. Wide-eyed Asian girl, camera in hand, taking in and fascinated by all her surroundings…shoot – if I was a pick-pocketer, I’d target me too!
But thankfully, nothing happened.
It was our first night in Dublin so we wanted to go grab a few drinks before we headed back to the hotel. Since Temple Bar was on our list of things to do, we decided to head there and it happened to be a walkable distance from where we were staying. Now, I’m not sure if Temple Bar is normally packed like a smelly sardine can every Saturday night, but it also happened to be the night before St. Paddy’s Day – so i’m sure there were more people there than usual. It was pure insanity. People could barely move. Cars couldn’t move because of the people. It was like we were being herded like cattle. People were drinking on the streets, which by the way, is legal in Dublin,so you can leave that brown paper bag at home.
After what seemed like an eternity of pushing and shoving, while trying not to lose each other, we finally reached our Final Destination. The Temple Bar. (Alright, maybe I shouldn’t say Final Destination because that sounds like death, but it might as well have been.)
So what’s so special about this place? Is it just because it’s old? Maybe the Guinness is extra Guinness-y, and the Jameson is extra Jameson-y (which they adoringly call Jamie over there)? Unfortunately, I don’t know the answer to that question because I never got to find out.
Instead, what I DID get to find out, was that the Temple Bar wasn’t really a bar, but it was just another tourist attraction in Dublin. I’m pretty sure locals don’t try to go there to grab a pint to catch up with their friends. They probably have better places to go to. That being said, I’m almost 100% certain that everyone in that bar was a tourist. A lot of them seemed like they’re from other European countries (judging from the languages they were speaking.) So I guess it was an odd sight for them to see four Asian girls try to squeeze their way in towards the bar? If you were there, you would think that they had never seen Asian people before. I mean at this point in my life, I’m used to the average stereotypical/racist comment here and there (even though I shouldn’t have to be, this day and age). But at Temple Bar, all we heard, as we tried to make our way through was, “Ni hao ma” and “Do you understand English” (shouted loudly and at a very slow pace, of course). There’s only so much you can do to counterattack at a noisy, crowded bar, besides go get yourself a drink and try to drown them out.
Finally, when we do get NEAR the bar (and yes, NEAR, but not even close), what happens? The same weirdo who was breathing down your neck 15 feet ago, is still breathing down your neck and tries to stick his hand in your purse. (and yes, I’m talking about an actual handbag just in case your mind was in the gutter for a second). Little did he know that my tiny cross-body bag had, not only a button, but a zipper, and then another flap too. Not to mention, I was clutching onto it for dear life so there’s no way he could have gotten anything without knocking me out first. And as I said before, there was ABSOLUTELY no room to move in that bar so I’m not sure where he would have tried to run to.
After that whole ordeal, we left without a drink and went to a bar across the street. Which was only about 25% less packed and we experienced the same type of comments shouted at us. So we left after an Irish car bomb (which I had NO IDEA it was rude to order in Ireland until I found out after the trip. I SWEAR! It’s the stupid American in me, I guess. I’ll admit when I’m wrong). We went to a bar closer to our hotel (Fitzgerald’s), right outside the Temple Bar neighborhood, and it was a good time! Had a few drinks, made some new friends, which I’m told what Ireland is all about!
P.S. If you do decide to come to Dublin for St. Paddy’s, just be extra careful. One of the cab drivers warned us that people travel from nearby countries just to get their pick-pocketing fill. I guess they are (literally) banking on the fact that party-goers will be drunk and won’t be paying attention to their valuables.