On a cab ride from Kilmainham to Ranelagh, I looked out the window to see two small boys riding ponies bareback through the streets. I turned to the person next to me for an explanation, but apparently its an, if not common, unsurprising sight in Dublin.
This city blends rural and urban life in a way that I've never seen in an American city. I don't know if its because there is such a large separation between the rural and urban cultures in America, or something else, but it is worth mentioning that almost everyone I meet has a family member who owns a farm.
Young working class children will buy the ponies and ride them bareback around their neighborhood and the outskirts of the city. Apparently, the Smithfield Market is one of the oldest traditions in Dublin, where working class youths go to trade horses and ponies for cheap. For 300 years, and still today, you can go to Smithfield on the first Sunday of every month, buy a horse, get the horse shoes fitted by a blacksmith, and ride away with no questions asked. In a capital city of Western Europe.
Nothing very deep or blog-worthy to say, just an image to remember. I like getting to know "old Dublin", pre-tiger and all that noise. Just reminds me that the US is just a teenager, compared to wizened Europe. Wizened, not wise. Just sayin'.
Wish I could find a picture to post, but they are all protected online. Might have to go myself with my camera...
Anyway - off to find truth (or more likely a lot of crap I will make up to reach a word count).