Friday, 6 February 2009

Paddy in Ireland

.......continued from here

So I'm back home to the ol' sod for the first time in seventeen months. I'll be spending some time visiting family. I've lived away so long that I don't know many people from school or college anymore but a few high school Facebook people have surfaced recently so that's a possibility. I might even bump into a blogger or two so if yer up for it let me know.

I left Ireland in the eighties when it was at rock bottom economically. To be honest I have felt detached and removed from the Ireland of the Celtic Tiger while re-visiting here over the years. For me it seemed as if many of the people changed, the attitude changed and I felt like a bit of an outsider.

Humility was replaced with arrogance and a new super upper middle class was born overnight. Weekend beers were now supplemented or replaced with mid week wine and champagne bars and designer labels were almost mandatory. Yesterdays average next door neighbour became tomorrows millionaire property tycoon.

I may provoke some negative feedback here but I can say without any doubt I have no interest in living here in the foreseeable future. I'm very proud to be Irish, I love the landscapes and the craic, wit and the humour but I'm very hesitant to adapt and change to 'fit in' to the new Irish lifestyle. I think a lot of people got drunk on the success and forgot where they had come from.

I'm not happy at the recent and rapid nosedive in the Irish economy (currently among the most drastic in Europe) and I certainly don't want things to return to the god awful days of the eighties but a little slap on the wrist may help rid us as a nation of the annoying pretentious extravagance that until recently seemed the 'norm'.

Unfortunately it looks like much more than a slap on the wrist is coming to Ireland and it's a tad bit depressing listening to the news about job losses here. I will enjoy my time with family and friends and then bid them farewell before I head off on the last leg of this quest for a new job and new life.

Update: Very topical article from the Irish Times here

Tags: .Paddy in Dublin Ireland Wicklow..

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Queenie February 06, 2009 12:04 pm  

Welcome home! If you are down Cark way let me know and I will buy you a pint.

Stevo | China Travel February 06, 2009 12:35 pm  

I was speaking to a friend recently about the parallels in Irish and Chinese economies. Both went from rags to riches. Too bad to hear things are shite there now. Not quite as bad in China.

Is your final destination China? We need more Irish in the Middle Kingdom to balance out the insane number of Americans.

Have a good visit to your native land. I haven't seen mine four years, and the prospect of seeing it this year is murky.

Xbox4NappyRash February 06, 2009 1:22 pm  

Paddy, I swear on my own life that I could have written every word of that post.

Word for word, feeling for feeling.

Baino February 06, 2009 3:34 pm  

Certainly rings true if my 'recent Irish visitor' is to be believed. He's so down on the current state of affairs that he's planning a gap year or even to take on another degree in Australia. Apparently, not just the economic side of things but the 'mood' of the place is very dour. Not helped I suspect by a cold wet winter. Enjoy connecting. I really hope you get to meet some bloggers too . . that's my big ambition once I'm financially fit!

Maxi Cane February 06, 2009 3:50 pm  

Each and every word you've written is spot on, man.

Enjoy your time back here. You'll be longing to go back before long.

Take me the fuck with you.

Mark H February 06, 2009 4:15 pm  

I've not been here for a while and every blog entry is about a different country. Your home land brings me great memories of the only two weeks I've ever been in your grand country. The friendliness of the people and the fun of the pubs will stay with me forever.

Good luck with whatever goes on.

Miles McClagan February 06, 2009 4:57 pm  

The good thing about my hometown in Scotland is that no one went all middle class and up themselves...

They just bitch about people I don't know who went all middle class and up themselves! Hooray!

wandermom February 06, 2009 11:39 pm  

I'm with Xbox4NappyRash - could have written this post myself.
Enjoy your time at home. Have a pint in the Temple Bar for me.
Looking forward to the next installment...

Anonymous,  February 07, 2009 12:31 am  

Actually, I have a positive comment on this, I am totally with you on this one Quickie. My Irish boyfriend dragged me over there to live, I went happily because our previous visit was nice and fun. But we only lasted there 10 months, and Niall was telling me exactly same things you wrote on your post. He was a bit worried about telling it as it was to his family so I think they all think it's because of my visa issues, or whatever. Basically, we were in Ranelagh where he grew up and he couldn't believe the arrogance of the newly rich, etc, I will be repeating you really so I will stop at that.
I liked the friendliness of the people in the remote areas, smaller places. I love the landscape and all bejillion shades of green. I can't say I enjoyed Dublin.
So yea, I don't think he wants to go back to live either.
Enjoy your time with your family :)

iWalk February 07, 2009 12:50 am  

It's so great to back home! I hope you enjoy your days with your family and old friends!

And Paddy,I know how you work hard on your blog even in such busy days.

So I have a Passionate Blogger Award for you, PLS check it here: Are You A Passionate Blogger?

Keep sharing your stories on journey. I love to read them, And love to know your good news!

Caro February 07, 2009 2:58 am  

I second everyone else who said they could have written this post. That's why I left my IT job in the middle of the boom and got the feck out of Dodge.

Megan February 07, 2009 3:10 am  

Food for thought. I will be bringing it up tomorrow at the annual dinner with "The Old Men" and see what they have to say.

I loved my two weeks in Dublin. Apres moi, le deluge, eh?

Thriftcriminal February 07, 2009 6:23 am  

Well, I'm still here. I spent the last 5 years pointing out that something false and ridiculous was in progress, and apparently I was right (who knew?). Having a family here means I'll probably stick around, unless hey start getting all tax-y on me, then I'll wave two fingers at them. I was one of the few that didn't cause the problem, fucked if I'm gong to pay to fix it.

Thriftcriminal February 07, 2009 6:24 am  

By they and them I mean the government, obviously, not the family. I'll probably bring them with me.


Nicole February 08, 2009 6:01 am  

Best of Luck to you and Ireland!

nick February 08, 2009 6:51 am  

Not surprised you don't want to stick around. The rapid decline in the south is alarming, but all too predictable given the completely phoney prosperity bubble that was doomed to burst. And yes, everyone says old values have been trampled underfoot in the rush for middle-class 'success'.

English Mum February 09, 2009 3:34 am  

Damn you, TC, your later addition thwarted my cunning comment.

Ah Paddy, I know exactly what you mean. We've launched ourself wholeheartedly into Irish life, and now it's all crashing around our ears. We bought a house at the very top of the market and the kids are enrolled in schools...

Mind you, going back to England seems almost as depressing...

Quickroute February 09, 2009 7:58 am  

@ Queenie: Thanks - believe it or not I've never been to Cork - maybe next visit

@ Stevo: Thanks - that's interesting the parallels - we're a bit like gypsies really

@ Xbox: I know - it seems a lot of irish expats feel the same way

@ Baino: the weather played havoc with my blog meet plans - snow again!

@ Mark H: thanks - it's still a great country to be sure especially as a tourist

@ Miles: lucky you - very lucky indeed

@ Wandermom: thanks - I had several pints for you and the invoice is in the mail ;-)

@ Gaye: it's a different world alright when you get to the rural areas which thankfully i did since i wrote this post - it was like a breath of fresh air

@ iWalk: thanks for the best wishes and for the award - much appreciated

@ Caro: wise move on your behalf - well done

@ Megan: yes - visiting is whole other kettle o' fish to living here - that's for sure

@ Thrifty: yes - agreed the government have a lot to answer for but 99.9% chance they will not be held accountable and we'll just go down hill head first

@ Nicole: Thanks

@ Nick: I hear Newry has doubled it's economy since the hoardes have started crossing the border for cheaper goods - at least someone is doing well out of it!

@ EM: yeah I don't think it's much better in the UK and ot would be very hard to up roots and move with kids

@ :

roy February 09, 2009 11:51 am  

Welcome home mate! I'd meet you for a spritzer and a light brunch but I've got a bunch of meetings with my finance adviser.........toodle pip till next time luvvy!

Anonymous,  February 11, 2009 5:22 am  

I know what you mean, only too well!

Conan Drumm February 11, 2009 6:34 am  

Yeah, I felt right through the obviuosly fake 'boom' that my country had been metaphorically robbed from under me. It turns out that it was actually being robbed too.

Quickroute February 11, 2009 9:55 am  

@ Roy: lol - I always had you pipped as a yuppie!

@ Conortje: join the club

@ Conan: I'd laugh only it's sad really

Anonymous,  January 18, 2012 4:56 pm  

Well it's now med Jan. 2012...!!!
and we've come through the worst...!
Yes, that nasty flashiness..(by some people) is gone.. I think people are more communal minded....Home baking has made a huge comeback.. Porridge consumption -for breakfast- has increased...!
The export sector is thriving... by no means all from the multinational sector)
the Agri-food export sector is especially successful... and sales of Irish whisky around the world has increased exponentially...

I think the negativity has passed its peak.... however there is also subliminal pressure to play the 'poor mouth' and join in the whinging and whining - even if things are going quite well for you -

Saving in the country are approx. €96 Billion. It said this morning on the news that the Travel sector has taken on extra staff with to cope with the surge of people wanting to book foreign/sun holidays.....
There is light to be seen at the end of the recession tunnel-maybe-

Paddy in BA (Quickroute) January 18, 2012 7:34 pm  

@anony: Glad to hear there's light at the end of the tunnel - I was home last Summer and it was a changed place from previous visits - a bit more sobriety and sanity with a side of 'woe is me' as you mentioned - fingers crossed for lessons learnt and onward and upwards

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