They started to show up around March 12. Bedecked in glittery green mini top hats, flagging down taxis only to be snared in traffic, politely asking a Trinity security guard if there were perhaps any pubs nearby.
The Paddy’s Day tourists had arrived, and well before the day itself, I realized I had adopted the persona of a crotchety old-timer hollering at the kids to get off my lawn, maneuvering through packed sidewalks with a scowl and a sneer. Tourists, I scoffed to myself, with all the hauteur of a three-month resident.
This is not entirely fair, of course. While it’s true that some tourists seemed determined to turn Dublin into the world’s frat house for the weekend, and that the sidewalks were covered in all kinds of unpleasant things for a while, there’s something to be said for a city full of visitors all thrilled to be there.
My roommates and I went to College Green to watch the St. Patrick’s Day Parade and found the streets filled with people from curb to curb: dozens of little kids with shamrock face paint and Irish flags perched on their parents’ shoulders, groups of students from other countries who had just popped over for the weekend, Americans who had come to the parade every year for decades. The people around us were trying to explain the (at times, baffling) floats to each other in four different languages. The sea of green hats didn’t seem so bad.
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<p><span style="color: rgb(29, 29, 29); font-family: Arial, Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal; background-color: rgb(237, 237, 237);">My name is Bea Gantzer, and I am a junior English major at Washington University in St. Louis. I'm a distance runner, baker, and Minnesotan. This will be my first time out of the United States, and I look forward to experiencing a new culture, soaking up Dublin's rich history, and getting little-kid excited over seeing buildings older than the U.S. itself.</span></p>