1. Two bus rides on Dublin city buses: drivers pretty casual about collecting fares (but turned down IOUs). Very good on directions.
2. The West of Ireland is beautiful and green; Dublin has a lot of NYC, a lot of tourists, very multicultural appearing (Thai, Polish, Italian, Lebanese). Food (fish) great in the West. Pub food just okay. Dublin: Best meals, Italian and Lebanese; a lot of traffic. In general motor traffic rules Dublin. Pedestrians are given short-shrift (an influx of interpid pedestrians from Istanbul and NYC needed).
3. Hardly any smoking, even in public. And no one wanders down the street looking at their I-phone.
4. Have been reading recommendations from previous post. Kevin Berry, Beatlebone (Irene Baldwin and Jean Raber). If it's magic realism, it's missing the Latin American fantasy, though there's a lot of surrealism. Does anyone think that it's a bio Berry tried to write and failed at. Sean O'Faolain, The Irish: A Character Study (Joseph O'Leary). Out of print, but expecting a copy from alibris any day now.
5. Irish are very friendly. Will strike up a conversation, but aren't garrulous.
6. Irish press and people I talked to: Opposed to Brexit!! Big time. May be overly optimistic about financial companies moving to English-speaking Ireland. Also overly optimistic about the North joining the Republic in order to stay in the EU. Ireland looks forward to its coming role as the major English-speaking country in the EU (with Malta as its junior partner).
Glad we went. More to come.