I was in town on Saturday with the hubby and kiddie winks, heads up the best brunch in Dublin is in the Elephant and Castle (and so worth the wait for a table), Eggs MC Swiggan....huge burgers, tables that can accommodate our party of five! So the family had a lovely stress free brunch, we chilled out and didn't stress the small stuff. kids were loud, though not annoying, food was delayed, but delicious when we ate it, baby was cross and cried, but then chilled so we could eat our yummy food. I love town (isn't that such a Dublin thing....I'm going to "town", love it, it's a throw back to the fact that we are all from the country originally).
So on Saturday we had a yummy brunch, we all had full tummy's, and before my hubby and eldest son and the princess headed off to Forbidden Planet as baby and I went over to check out the new (super/fantastic) Dunnes stores on Henry street, he headed up to get the buggy from the Temple bar car park. While standing outside the car park, babe in my arms, at one in the afternoon, We were approached by a woman, obviously drunk, with a can of Dutch Gold in her hand, and she started to talk to me about my baby son, asking me what age he was and telling me about her sister's daughter, her niece. She smelt awful, and had no teeth at all at the front of her mouth, she was bad.
So what did I do? Did i ignore her, try to walk away? No! I answered her questions, let her stroke my babe's little cheek ( you are shocked aren't you? Bear with me?) Meanwhile my nine year old can't deal with the drunk woman and turns his head in to the wall, avoiding the situation, he can sense the situation is strange. Then along comes a guy, obviously on methadone,eyes rolling back in his head, "any change?" "No" He then notices the baby, "Ah, look at the baby, I have a baby (then he gave the name) she's six months old!" I lost my breath, this guy is young, he is also out of his head, my nine year old is shifting uncomfortably now. He touches my baby, "Hello, I hope you never meet me in your life." I'm struck by the fact that these people are real people, they are three dimensional people. Sensing my son is feeling uncomfortable, I shake their hands, wish them well and walk away.
My hubby emerges from the car park, "you OK?, I saw those weirdo's talking to you?" Yes, of course I tell him I'm grand. I explain everything that happened, he thinks I'm mad and asks did I give them money which i didn't.
I felt strongly about this issue, these may be messed up people but they are human beings, they have families, they are at least all someones children! And worst case scenario they are parents. Should I not have spoken to these guys? Should I have not exposed my kids to this? But this is reality in Dublin, my kids will have to face this at some point, my son spoke to me about it afterwards, and it definitely opened up communication about drinking and drugs.
Temple Bar is full of beggars, people give them a lot of money there, I think a lot of the time when we give beggars money it's making an offering at the "there but for the grace of God go I alter", we are aware of the fact that any difference in our life could have brought us to the low point they are at. It makes us feel a bit better about ourselves, we give a couple of euro and feel like a nice person.
Town is so different from the shopping centers, when we are in Dundrum there are no druggies, or drunk people, it's like the Simpson's episode, with Hank Scorpio, where they talk about the gated community and they have no bums, but if they did have any bums, they wouldn't rush them! Dundrum is a created environment. there are no outsiders, you don't need to worry about your kids, there are no threatening people there.
That's why we like Dundrum so much, it's almost a gated community of shopping, safe, clean and people like us. But every now and again it's good to go into town, to expose them to a different reality. maybe people disagree with me, but I think it's important.