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Down Mexico Way spacer Issue 1
Down Mexico Way - Life Down South
by Billy Guermantes in Dublin
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The other day I went to meet a Nigerian friend of mine for lunch. He works in one of the gleaming buildings on the edge of the business quadrant, two stops on the monorail from O'Connell street. The speed of "Europe's most advanced transport system" still makes me feel queasy but Shona was there with his inevitable greeting, "Billy you're fatter than ever" - I think it is meant as a compliment. He spent lunch telling me of some special construction technique for building skyscrapers out of old plastic bags and trying to understand the Swiss waitress, before finally asking me if I would like to come to a party that evening. I have become used to wearing my best suit and am still intrigued by the varied experiences a Dublin evening affords, so I readily accepted.
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The address was a large Georgian house south of the river, worth many millions of pounds in our money I expect, where I was greeted by a giant Chinaman in a top hat who took my coat and showed me into a drawing room full of talking people. I tried to discover Shona among the guests but could not find any familiar faces. I happily fell into conversation with a Peruvian model. I believe we then conversed for some time, in lurid detail, about the mating behaviour of a species of lemur native to her country, but it might have been about something else entirely as this was conducted in a Spanish dialect I only half understood. I had been drinking champagne for some time so at this point had reluctantly to beg leave to visit a toilet.
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It seemed as if the party was continuing in every room of the house and all the toilets were in use, until I came to the fourth floor. I took a seat and was feeling very comfortable when I noticed an ominous breathing from within the bath. Leaning forward from my seat I pulled back the curtain and revealed a large crocodile apparently asleep in some shallow water.
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When I mentioned to another guest, this time a Frenchman, inconguously wearing a ten gallon hat, that there was a crocodile in the bath all he would say was "Oui, il a toujours aimé les crocodiles", at which point he smirked. When he realised I did not understand his joke he offered to introduce me to our host. In the kitchen on a stool sat a very large African man in a leopard skin hat eating popcorn, a Mr. Idi Amin. Mr. Amin said that it was too hot for him in Saudi Arabia at this time of year but that he had a small cottage in the West of Ireland that he felt completely at home in and did I play Ludo. He loved Ludo.
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The first glimmers of morning had started to appear so I made my excuses, promised to visit again, and set off for home. The Dublin streets were quiet but for the humming of various night machines finishing their work and the occasional shuttle. By the time I was at my front door the small team of English road workers had already assembled for their first cup of tea. They hailed me, "alright guvnor". I suppose there is nothing for them to do back in Berkshire but do they have to come and sit on my front porch? And when is a man supposed to get his sleep in this modern Ireland?
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