Oh, I’m Grand!

I know it’s been awhile. I’ve been busy with a truckload of chores the past few days and with the upcoming report submission, my mind is as cluttered as the room I’m living in now.

Being lazy, I’ll just ramble on about what happened on Sunday. Don’t worry, my hand didn’t get bitten off by Irish bears (if they even exist…). Check out those pictures below for an idea (though you probably know what I’m driving at already).

Seemed as if the whole world was there.

Seemed as if the whole world was there.

Saint Patrick’s Day 2013. Never seen so many people united in their hat colours before.

In keeping up with the festivities in our host country, we decided to pop by Dublin City Centre to catch the world renowned St. Patrick’s Day parade (Mum skyped to say there was one in Singapore too). Almost everyone in the company asked us if we were going to see it, but a couple of locals advised us to get back before the sun set because the streets would be filled with drunk Irish and drunk Americans. Double trouble.

Oh when the Saints, go marching in, oh when the Saints go marching in.

Oh when the Saints, go marching in, oh when the Saints go marching in. No, they weren’t actually playing that song…

I don’t know if you can see it on the bells of their instruments, but it was snowing/raining throughout the whole procession. Cold even by Irish standards. Hats off to the parade participants, especially those in short skirts and tights. I had 6 layers on and wasn’t feeling even remotely warm.

People get a little too high.

People get a little too high.

Halfway through, huge movements at the corner of my eye took me off the parade for a few moments. It was too high up for people, but too much scrambling for those tiny pigeons. I was quite impressed with how this guy managed to shimmy up a pole to sit on top of the signboard (too much Guiness, maybe?). Others were just perched on windowsills of nearby buildings. He definitely had one up over them. Another guy took up the challenge a little while after this one jumped off (I’m only assuming here, didn’t manage to see how he got down), but the novelty had already wore off.

Looks grand here, but she was actually standing on a bin.

Looks grand here, but she was actually standing on a bin.

What amazed me most of all on Sunday was how united the Irish were in celebrating their country’s national day. The parade was a free-for-all thing and you could come and go as you wished. There were no rules except the one where your sane mind told you not to run into the path of the floats. Despite that, thousands of people turned up from every corner of Ireland, every corner of the world, to paint the city green. That day, every street I walked down, every lane I glanced into, I saw a sea of green. Top hats, mini hats, bowler hats, bows, wigs, you name it, you see it. For the very first time since I arrived on the Emerald Isle, I felt like I blended right in, straight black hair, small eyes and all. It was then that I realized that on Paddy’s Day, everyone was equal.

Half a penny's not going to deter that large crowd of green hatters from crossing.

Half a penny’s not going to deter that large crowd of green hatters from crossing.

We crossed the Ha’Penny Bridge on our way to Dame Street where we were stationed throughout the parade, but decided to take the shorter route home via the O’Connell Bridge (to the LUAS station at Abbey Street). It didn’t seem like a bad idea at all, considering the postcard-worthiness of the shot above.

As the Irish love to say, that was grand.

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