Three More Things About Ireland That I Won't Miss

Amidst running around the house like a headless chicken, making lists of things I still need to buy before I leave Ireland, and telling everyone, who doesn't want to hear about it, how I have too much stuff and don't know what to do with my things, I actually managed to spent a lovely day with a friend over the weekend.

Chilling in Stephen's Green Park -- in my new dress, which I know you have all been dying to see in it's full glory so you're welcome.

While I did manage to spent a lovely day with my friend -- we gorged on coffee and did some shopping, I fear I discovered yet more things about Ireland I won't miss. I am starting to believe that this is me trying to cope with getting ready to leave the place I've called home for the last eight years.

Please don't get me wrong, I really don't dislike Ireland and I definitely don't hate it. I could tell you now that it's just me being German because Germans like to complain but let's just leave the cliché for another day. I'm pretty certain this is just me trying to make saying goodbye easier.

I'm definitely looking forward to saying goodbye to Ireland and hello to my new adventure in China but there is a certain kind of sadness that fills me when I think about all the things I experienced in my eight years here in Ireland. It's a long time, I've done a lot of things, learned a great deal and...actually I grew up in Ireland but more about that when I'm ready to write about all the things I will actually miss about Ireland and I'm just not ready to go there. Since I finalised the details of my decision to leave, I've noted a great deal of things about Ireland I will actually miss but I don't want to share these things just yet.

For now, let's just continue with all the things I won't miss:

Teens who dress like sluts and parents who let them.
If you are expecting an apology for the way I phrased this sentence, you'll be waiting for a long time. This really is a sore spot and it interlinks with the attitude of today's teens and the lack of respect they show towards anyone and everyone who is older than them.

Not so long I was a teenager myself. I was moody, bitchy, full of nasty comments and I had a rotten temper. I had a knack for blowing a fuse over the smallest things, I would raise my voice and shout and say things I went on to regret. Nevertheless, I still had a certain level of respect towards anyone who was older than me. There were things I simply didn't dream of doing. Sure I pushed the boundaries, in fact I was really good at that. I'd continuously try to find out just where my parents' breaking point was. I was damn good at that, I tell you. I did some things I'd really rather forget about, but I still had a certain sense of respect. There were things I simply wouldn't dream of doing. My friends were the same, they too were 'typical' teenagers, but they all had a certain sense of respect, there was an invisible line and we never crossed it. We didn't even question it. We pushed the boundaries, but we didn't cross the line. I'm sure there were plenty of kids who did, but for us it just wasn't something you'd do.

Whenever I talk like this, I feel old. Really old! I can't believe how much things have changed in the last ten to twelve years although from my experience kids in Germany are by far not as reckless and stupid as their Irish counterparts. Also, before I have just about every Irish mother throwing stones at me and berating me for talking about things I supposedly know nothing about, in my defence I know plenty of lovely Irish kids who are absolutely lovely.

Sadly I almost always reach boiling point whenever I spend too much time in Dublin's city centre. It's mind-boggling how many young girls (regardless of the current season but especially these last few weeks) run around the city half-naked.

I'm by no means prude, but does a girl of 13 really need to parade around the city with orange skin from the amount of fake tan she slapped on herself in a desperate attempt to make it look like she just came back from a holiday in Lanzarote? Does she really need to wear a pair of hotpants short enough to display half her bottom? Does she really need to top that look with a short, sleeve-less shirt that displays her stomach, a bra that's half visible and enough make-up to make her look like she's getting ready for an evening of pole-dancing at a strip club? Where are her parents, stopping her from wearing such horrific outfits? Do they even care? Does it make it alright that she's hanging out with a bunch of girls so surely she'll be safe and nothing will happen? What on earth is she doing in city centre at 9pm, stumbling about Grafton Street, half drunk, while her friend is trying to steady her and light a cigarette at the same time? Why is law enforcement not taking these kids home to their parents? Does nobody care about them or how they behave, what they do and how they speak? Should I (and now I'm really just asking for it!) really feel compassionate when she's getting sexist comments from a bunch of leering, older guys, passing her and her friend?

I'm probably bordering on being politically incorrect here, but I feel nothing but contempt for these girls. The boys are just as bad and even they don't know how to dress properly. Just because you have to wear a school uniform every day doesn't make it alright to run around in tracksuit bottoms and a manky shirt. These teens have no respect, they don't listen to anyone, don't appear to care about anything unless what they care about is a career in prostitution, or accept any sort of authority.

I was never like that and none of my friends were ever like that. I'm not used to this kind of behaviour so I feel about fifty years old whenever I blow a fuse about the lack of attention these kids are given. I'm sure social services in Germany would be all over them, heck they were all over me when my parents separated. If in Germany it takes as little as a separation for social services to get involved, I am led to believe that Ireland has no adequate social services. This kind of behaviour is simply not acceptable and it should not be condoned. There are so many amazing parents out there who will bend over backwards to give their children all the love in the world and endless opportunities to grow as human beings so it really hurts when I see that there are kids out there whose parents so obviously don't give a shit about their kids. Why? Seriously, why? Could anyone please answer this question for me or am I too young and too naive to understand how society has changed in the last ten to twelve years?

Am I really wrong in saying that I'd rather take a bullet straight to the heart than ever let my child run around like she's practising to sell her body for money? Am I wrong in wanting my child to be respectful towards seniors, mind the way he or she dresses and just generally have some family values and morals? I used to think that I'm not old-fashioned but maybe I'm wrong. Maybe I'm just an old soul stuck in the body of a mid-twenties gal.

Moving on...

Here's three words for you: I HATE PIGEONS. Truly hate them, despise them, can't stand them, loathe them. Do you get the gist? They defecate (as you can see I'm trying to be a bit more sophisticated with my choice of language) everywhere, even inside their nests, carry a bunch of diseases and if you happen to eat in public they follow you around like a hawk, begging for crumbs, harassing you even. We've a lot of pigeons in Germany too but somehow Ireland, especially Dublin seems to have a ton more. I'm not sure about China and pigeons but I don't recall seeing any. Maybe I've just suppressed the memory...or I was too busy fishing for kisses or should that be kissing a fish? Either or the gist is the same...pretty much.

As for Germany, we have a ton of sparrows. They make up for all these nasty pigeons. They are cute, really cheeky and just generally entertaining. There aren't many sparrows in Ireland and the few I've come across are very shy and not at all cheeky. When in Germany, my friend and I like to brunch at our favourite café. From mid-spring to late autumn, we'll sit outside in the shade, enjoy the good weather and munch on our food. It happens quite regularly that a sparrow will land on the empty chair next to us and patiently wait/beg for food. Once a sparrow flew by my friend's face and actually stole some fries right out of her hand. Kodak moment gone by too fast!

So yeah, pigeons. Useless vermin of the bird world, flying rats, adieu, I won't be missing you.

Imbecilic neighbours.
The apartment building I live in is actually a two in one kind of thing. Half of the building is a high tower with 14 floors filled with penthouse apartments and the other half is a regular apartment building with six floors and tons of 'normal' apartments. By normal I mean the kind of apartment you and I, someone with average income can still afford to rent. The same can't be said about those penthouse apartments.

Our apartment building has two elevators. One specifically for the apartment building and one for the "skyscraper" (Ireland's idea of a skyscraper anyway). These elevators are clearly marked. I can't use the elevator allocated to the penthouse building but unfairly enough my rich neighbours can use the elevator allocated to the apartment building which means that they use it and usually it's those people who live on the top floors (10 to 14) who will religiously use the one elevator not allocated to them. This means that everyone else who is actually entitled to using that elevator has to wait forever for it to arrive let's say on the ground floor or in the underground car park. I'm lucky, I don't really rely on the elevator but it bothers me that pregnant women and mothers with children and prams have to wait forever to use the elevator.

Arrivederci annoying neighbours, I won't be missing you either but I do hope you'll learn your lesson someday and be a bit more considerate.