My birthday trip to Europe did not begin the way I would have preferred, and I still had some pent up frustration about my hair appointment being cancelled the day before I left. Those unfortunate events were all it took for me to be peeved, but I was handling it well. By the time I reached Ireland, the third country on my visit to Europe, it was a distant memory and everything was fine.
I hadn’t been in the country for a full day before I had an altercation with two guys who were being creeps by peeping into the women’s restroom in a bar in Temple Bar. That was the first of two separate incidents with Irishmen – boys, rather – but I won’t share that story. The second incident happened a couple of days before my trip ended, and let me tell you about it.
I was having a good day, actually. I had just discovered the greatness of Penney’s and I had been shopping in City Center most of the day. Listen, Penney’s is one of the best things Ireland ever came up with. Fuck the potatoes and the Guiness. It’s all about Penney’s.
Once I finished shopping, I headed from City Center to Temple Bar to grab some lunch before heading back to my room. It was pretty crowded because that was a common area for tourists, and it was also Easter weekend. I started walking towards Ha’penney Bridge, and noticed two college-aged guys walking ahead of me being sophomoric. One of them was yelling expletives while kicking a large water bottle down the street angrily and forcefully like it was a soccer ball and he was trying to score a goal. His friend was giggling like the scene was the funniest thing, and he eventually picked up the water bottle so the angry friend could kick it in the air. How immature.
Something within me told me to hurry and walk past these kids before something crazy happens. Something bad was brewing, and I didn’t want to be involved in their nonsense when it came to fruition. It was going to be a fight if they got me wet, I thought to myself.
I passed them up and continued walking toward the intersection. There was a crowd in front of me, so my walking slowed to a stop behind the crowd. All of a sudden. I heard the sound of water splashing against the back of my jacket, and I felt it trickle down to my boots. The boys that I had passed up had caught up to me and threw water on me.
Oh, hell naw. I didn’t know if it was an accident or intentional, but I got angry. I immediately turned around to face them, and to my surprise the couple of boys had multiplied to a group of five or six. I said “Who did it? Who the fuck did it?”
They all froze.
One of the guys started laughing, so I told myself he must be the culprit. Without even thinking, I started walking towards him, and he started running.
At that point, all of them thought it was a joke. One of them splashed me again with the water. Another threw something at me very light like a handful of leaves. It was nothing that would have actually hurt me, but that wasn’t the point. Another pushed me as he took off running like a coward. Another called me a “fucking (indistinguishable word)” and told me to chill. I didn’t quite hear what he said, but I knew it was an insult. I grabbed him by the shirt, but he got away. By now, they’ve all took off running. Well I was not going to take off running after them, and I had already stooped to such a low level a petty for the day, so I decided to let it go.
They hurriedly crossed the street before the pedestrian crossing light turned red so that I could not go after them. There I was standing amongst a crowd of people who had just witnessed my altercation with a group of rowdy boys. I don’t know what their reactions were or how they interpreted what happened, but not a single person said a thing to me as we waited for the light to turn green. I stood there with a huge smile of my face, slightly panting from the small bit of adrenaline that got me through the short encounter. I chuckled at the thought of them running from me when they could have easily overpowered me.
By the time the light turned green for me to cross the street, the boys had already crossed Ha’penny Bridge and disappeared. Yes, they were nothing more than a bunch of cowards acting like their mamas didn’t raise them right. It was a week after the fact, but was still mad about my hair, and I was ready to square up against anybody who got disrespectful. Still, I was glad it didn’t turn into a fight because it would have been five against one and I would have lost that battle without a doubt.
That was just one of two incidents in Ireland, and I can laugh about it now. Every other incident I had with Irishmen was quite the opposite, actually. I mentioned the incident a few times, and they apologized on behalf of their country for it happening. I don’t think it was a reflection of the country, and I wouldn’t let it deter me from visiting again. Beyond that, Ireland was a great country to explore, and I hope others get an opportunity to see for themselves.