Returning to Dublin after 20 months away
Normal life ebbs back despite the Dry Robe swimmers, street furniture and so many dogs
It felt like nothing in the world had changed. “Which pubs would you recommend for a pint of Guinness in Temple Bar?” asked the loudest of the excited bunch of English weekenders who filled the two rows of seats in front of me.
So far, so normal. And, reassuringly, an hour later the long, snaking, taxi queue in the rain outside Dublin Airport was still there. I always thought that line of tired humanity was the quickest way to dampen the enthusiasm of tourists and returnees. Here it was again, frustratingly familiar.
I clambered over a metal barrier and into the back of a cab with an Irish man who had given up on the queue and flagged down a passing taxi. We talked all the way into town, both delighted to be back in Dublin. He was living in London and hurrying to a family gathering off Baggot Street, while I was making a belated visit to much-loved friends and special places.
This was my first, much postponed visit to my former home since February 2020 BC – Before Covid. As a result, just like the noisy group on my flight who were probably now stuck in the taxi queue and dreaming of Temple Bar pints, I was also an excited English weekender.
Now, heading back alone for the first time, I felt as giddy. Emotional too, and a touch nervous at the prospect of reunions, late nights, and far more drinks than I was used to.
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