Today’s Irish Times says that Dublin is only the thirteenth most expensive city in the world; Oslo is top of the league.
I think the young American couple in the bookshop in Dun Laoghaire this afternoon might easily have been convinced that they were visiting the most expensive country on earth. They were sat on the big padded seats in the middle of the shops frantically going through a pile of travel books they had taken from the shelf. They gave no indication of having any intention of buying anything and had I been the owner of the shop I think I might have felt a degree of frustration that my stock was being gone through with such vigour.
It was clear that they were looking for hotel accommodation, but this is the June holiday weekend and the place is full of visitors.
“Oh”, said the young woman, “that one is a hundred Euro a night, I thought it would have been cheaper”.
The guy snatched the book from her and looked at it and exclaimed in an exasperated manner. “You told me that we could get something cheap here”.
Cheap? I thought, in Dublin? What planet are you living on?
Then he started on about how he had taken her word that she would get things sorted out and how they were now stuck.
Maybe she had been misled. Maybe she had got her Dollar-Euro rates the wrong way round. Maybe she had come here when the Euro was worth only 80 US cents instead of the situation now where the Dollar is worth only 80 Euro cent.
They were not a happy couple and I guess she must have been feeling really bad. But then I thought, what about this guy? Has he no brain of his own? Why didn’t he do some research before crossing the Atlantic? Okay, she might have got things wrong, but this guy hadn’t even bothered himself to find out and here he was complaining.
People who do the least always seemed to moan the most.
They were still arguing when I left the shop. I wondered if the relationship would last this holiday. Maybe she needs a guy who acts as well as talks.
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