Can I take my goldfish to school?

6 July 2007

They have arrived.

Without warning, every single year they come, hordes of them. Milling about the city. Causing untold damage. Spreading out, taking over, like a virus of some sort. No bus is safe. No street remains unoccupied. Swarming about. Legions of them descend upon the city, and for months we know nothing but irritation. And annoyance. There is plenty of that too.

They’re here.

Yes, that’s right, the bloody invasion of the Spanish students has begun. I hadn’t seen any before this week, but on Tues as I made my way home from work I spotted a group of teenagers, all with the exact same blue bag. I knew what that meant. And yesterday there were more, gathered about the spire, lurking, preparing to move out, getting in everyone’s way.

I hate Spanish student season.

Why is it that they must travel in groups of no fewer than ten thousand? And why is it that they move at a speed that is slower than a snail’s? And why is it that the spread across the expanse of the streets and force other pedestrians to either slow to their crawl or force their way through.

And teenager’s are annoying. Irritations when they are the usual groups of 2, 5, whatever, loud and obnoxious. But when you bump up the numbers you bump up the irritation factor. Screaming, shouting, urgh, it is enough to turn anyone into a Grumpy Old Woman.

Title is a line from Poltergeist, and of course the most famous line from that film is “They’re here”.

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14 Responses

  1. Barry says:

    I totally agree. We were at a wedding in Trinity College the other day and had to stand outside front arch as a gaggle (not sure what the collective noun is for Spanish students!) of chattering Spaniards stood around blocking the entire front gate. The matching rucksacks, the look of "What is this wet stuff falling from the sky?" on their faces and the complete lack of awareness of anything else going on made it a very frustrating encounter!

  2. JL Pagano says:

    Not to mention that age old phenomenon of just three of them somehow occupying twenty seats upstairs on a Dublin bus!!!

  3. jean pierre says:

    haha! i can totally relate. or should is say %$&%&!!!!

    we have them too in oxford. them, the french and japanese.

    what amazes and really annoys me is that they don't seem to be able to function as individuals – they have to roam (or stand, mostly (in the way of everyone usually)) like one big phalanx or hive.

    do you have the japanese? they love walking down the crowded high street and suddenly stopping dead still and looking around them. this is something the french and spanish do too, of course, but not with the supreme skill of the japanese…

  4. Kelly says:

    Um, Fency? Come fall, I will also be a Spanish student. You'll still like me, won't you?

  5. Harlequin says:

    No, Kelly, they are not students of Spanish. They are students who are Spanish.


  6. Fence says:

    The complete lack of awareness is the issue Barry isn't it?

    JL, you've seen three by themselves? How is that possible, I've never seen such a small collection. Are you sure they weren't Italian ;)

    Jean Pierre we don't seem to get so many Japanese tourists. We get some, but nothing in comparison to the Spanish students. They are all teenagers learning English here, because this is a good catholic country.

    Kells, you're silly. As H says.

    'Sides, will you be travelling around Dublin with a group of 50 others wearing the same bag and chattering at the top of you voice, getting in everyone's way? No? I'm so glad.

  7. Kelly says:

    OHHHH, you meant SPANISH Spanish students… ;o) And no, Fency (and Harlequin), I will be traveling around Dublin with you two and Mal, and you will be carrying me down the street after a night of debauched pub-crawling during which I had way more than my allotted one glass of wine, and began naked-dancing on the tables.

    During the days, I'll try to behave meself.

  8. GerryOS says:

    If your only contact with Spanish students is on the street in Dublin, then yes, they can be a pain in the arse.

    But there is another side to it. My sister and her family have two students to stay every year, and the whole family love having them. My wife and I are also lucky enough to have my sister mind our baby daughter during the day, and the Spanish girls just dote on her.

  9. Alan says:

    Yes, I was wondering when JL had ever seen only three of them on a bus. To my recollection there were never less than an entire top deck full who would always arrive after you had taken a seat in what had previously been an empty area and would gather immediately around whatever spot you had chosen to sit in and would then proceed to all talk at the same time as each other without any of them actually listening to what any of the others were saying and with the volume not merely turned up to eleven but at least thirteen. Thank god I don't have to go through that any more.

    What am I saying. It's nearly Edinburgh festival time.

  10. God I'm having flashbacks. I used to work on Nassau St (about a hundred years ago) and remember the lost summer months when the tourists would parachute in like swarms of bees. Popping out for a lunchtime sandwich became guerilla warefare and the idea that you would hear a fellow Irish (forget about Dublin) accent was fanciful.

    I may develop rose tinted glasses about many things, never this.

  11. Carl V. says:

    "Spanish student season"…is that like Duck Season, or Deer Season? I imagine that you wish it were, at any rate. Teenagers in packs can be a nuisance, no doubt about it!

  12. Fence says:

    Kells, I'll even take you on the Viking tour where you get to wear a silly hat, shout at randoms and drive into the Liffey.

    Gerry, on an individual level they stop being "Spanish Students" and return to being people :) My aunt used to have students to stay and they always seemed quite nice. Once separated from the herd of course.

    Every city has their own brand Alan. Good luck.

    What sort of rose-tinted glasses Stephanie? Remember the days when we were forced to live go slow lives on account of the hordes? :)

    No shooting allowed I'm afraid Carl. Though one day they might earn a pokage.

  13. Ann says:

    I feel your pain. I'd thought that moving to the Middle of Nowhere, West Cork was a sure fire way to escape the Spaniards. However, on my weekly shopping trip into Macroom, I found the town flooded with them. And in a place as small as Macroom, there is no getting away from them or avoiding bumping into them since they don't look where they're going. I play camogie – it's a bad idea to get in my way, especially when I'm tired, cranky, and laden down with a week's worth of groceries.

  14. Fence says:

    They're spreading …