What’s a girl like you doing in a plaice like this?

Chance meetings


is weird.  I spent a weekend there having my going away party which, like closing the gate after the horse has bolted, was kind of strange too.  Still we managed to blow off plenty of steam in the very out-there Dragon bar on

Georges St.

till the wee hours with some wild and fun characters. The weekend that was, plus


winning the Guinness All-Ireland Hurling Semi Final (nose rub) meant that I had to extend my weekend to Monday. Yes I am still in limbo living between




Whenever I walk through the door in


I have to unpack stuff and put things away and all. It’s the classic case of if I had lost most of my possessions on the way here I would never have noticed, but I didn’t and now I’m squeezing old stuff into my new place, which also feels weird. God I’m moany, I guess it takes a while to feel normal somewhere new, even if it is where I first came from.



I visited my true home, Dundrum Shopping Centre, I love it so. My inner socialist was naturally outraged when they dug up most of

Dundrum Village

to build the, then penned, monstrosity.  Living a mere spit from its doors and being self employed and therefore bored meant I was there way too much. But who could resist, M&S, Mao, etc etc etc, and all really bright and spacious and damn it I just love it. So naturally the sprogs and I went there for lunch before getting on the road back to


As we travellated down the escalator the future vision that is Yo Sushi! Greeted us in an aerial mirage. Son No.1 is fish mad and begged me to take him to eat there. I weighed up the cost to my pocket for the sushi versus the cost to his health for the junk food and I conceded. This chain is hugely popular in the


and the Dundrum branch is the first one in


The design is based on the conveyor belt sushi bars of


where little dishes of different colours jig slowly past your eyes. The cold food is all under little plastic domes, the hot food which is mostly salmon skewers or chicken dishes are left uncovered.  The menu is colour coded from €2.25 for a little veggie sushi or steamed soy beans, which I love. More expensive ones are the more elaborate sushi. The counter top is fab resin and has little compartments cut out for the condiments and napkins. Taps for still or sparkling water are at every station with glasses and a red button that you press if you need help, then a big help flashes up on a TV screen. It’s so futuristic and a tiny bit of


I love it, now I love Dundrum even more, nooooo!

While I threw caution to the wind with my wallet as No.1  loved every plateful, the manager was fiddling around with the lights that kept flashing on and off.  Teething problems, she explained in a strong South African accent. An interesting dialogue ensued:

Me: You’re from

South Africa?

What Part?


Cape Town

Me:  Oh I have cousins in

Cape Town

We lived in


for years and have just moved back to


but my son wanted to come for Sushi

She: Really? My Dad’s from


Me: (noticing a resemblance)

Now that you mention it you do look a bit like my cousin Donovan

She: (Realising she is related to me and has never ever met me, and holding her hand to her chest with her mouth open)….I’m Natalie!

Me: I’m Valerie!

We are first cousins.

I get off my stool and run to the end of the counter, she too and we hug, screaming like teenagers. Lots of Oh My Gods follow and I introduce her to the kids who are beaming on their seats. Not only have we never met but I didn’t even know what she looked like. Staff and customers are bemused at our Oprah moment and we of course have made plans to meet up next week, she’s coming to stay so that gives me a good reason to sort my junk out. I can’t wait, we have 30 years of catching up to do.

4 thoughts on “What’s a girl like you doing in a plaice like this?

  1. Oh Val! How I envy the Irish and their extended family connections all over the world!
    Whereever an Irish person goes they meet a relative. And they are mostly delighted about it. Which is the most amazing thing, for me at least.

    And, by the way, a lovely piece of writing.

    Besides, I thought that you have a slight American accent in your brilliant Limerick-video? Not that I’m an expert on English (as in language) accents. Or maybe that’s just Dublin tongue with Mid-Atlantic?

  2. @ carrig, maybe I do have an American accent, I’ve never spent time there though. I did teach English to Germans for a stint when I lived there for 4 years so that can neutralise an accent. Or I might be an affected Oirish type with a so-called West Brit accent?

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