I recognise these footsteps

It has been over a year since I was last in Dublin, in the Republic of Ireland. But on the weekend past I drove down there from Belfast - for a Christmas party.

Recalling the impression the city left on me last time, I arrived with an open mind - without any prejudices. I am referring of course to the post-solar activities that take place once the cloak of darkness blankets the city. The memories of my last visit only returned during my walk home - as I spent the entire night in the one pub and hence wasn't exposed to it prior.

I can honestly say I was scared, and worried of my safety, during that hurried walk home. I was serenaded to an orchestra of ambulance sirens, smashing bottles - not the sound of them dropping, but that of them breaking after high speed impact i.e. after being thrown - the yell of slurred abuse, and the heavy, uneven footsteps of drunkenness - which was everywhere.

One heavy-set chap tried to meander his way from one side of the pavement to the other, and in the process he reached out aggressively to grab me - almost taking a swing at me - for no apparent reason. After that I avoided eye-contact with everyone and raced home.

I recognise that Dublin may be a breeding ground for such behaviour due to the migration of hoards for their bachelor parties, hen nights, work parties etc, with the intention of getting so madly drunk. Unfortunately the resulting melting pot is not so attractive - and contains a lot of blood, vomit and other bodily fluids. These observations are not profound in way -surely the locals recognise how this 4 a.m. aftermath of a night out on the piss may appear.

I did get home safely, but judging by the number of ambulances I passed I am guessing many others did not.