Hillbilly’s by the fountain; Tanora cocktails; the King Creole from KC’s; feeling homesick for Cork yet?
That’s your big fat rebel soul telling you it’s time to give up your ‘aul gallivanting and go home to your mam.
Here are seven more solid reasons you should leave the Aussie sunshine behind, escape the London smog; depart Dublin for once and for all and return to the banks of your own lovely Lee.
1. The people
Cork folk have a reputation for being friendly, salt-of-the-earth types but you’ll never realise how true this is until you experience life in a frantic capital city. Confusing at first, the random weather chat from the old man at the bar will eventually melt your mean, big city heart.
Add in our local obsession with saying sorry for anything from a doorway step-aside to a ‘sorry, do you know when the next bus is due?’ and you’ll spend your first week home repressing the urge to hug every lovely local you meet.
2. The accent
Be honest; while you’ve been away you’ve adjusted your accent to Cork Lite so the Dubs can understand you. You communicate with your New York colleagues in a creepy patois most commonly employed by Michael Flatley and Tom Cruise in Far and Away.
To assimilate in Sydney, you’ve started using that annoying upward inflection at the end of all your sentences so you sound eternally confused. Yet, the second you step off the plane in Cork your accent returns to normal and your sentence speed increases by 450%.
Isn’t it nice to talk to people who understand you, like?
3. The chips
One of the only restaurants in the world where you need to be ready to roar your order at the staff from the front door, everyone knows that true happiness is strolling down Bandon Road with a brown bag of steaming Lennox’s chips.
Here, soft drinks are still ‘minerals’, haddock is always the ‘fish of the day’ and pink sauce is eternally on the menu. Thank god.
4. The sense of humour
‘C’mere to me… g’wan away out of that.’ Nobody can take the piss out of you like your friends from home. And your family. And the bus driver. Cork people even use their sense of humour in their gardening.
5. The coffee
There was a time, long, long ago, when if you asked for a coffee in Cork somebody would reach for a battered jar of Nescafé. Those days are long gone, my caffeine addicted friend, and now, no matter where you wander, there’s always an almond milk latte or a macchiato to hand at any hour of the day.
From Filter on George’s Quay to Alchemy on Barrack Street and Soma on Tuckey Street, to the grand dame of Cork coffee peddlers, Cork Coffee Roasters on Bridge Street and Paul Street, your every hipster whim is catered to, from bean to froth.
All you need to do is choose the aesthetic that best reflects your worldly disposition and/or hairstyle.
6. The wide open spaces
Oddly, the things you can’t wait to escape from as a kid are often the things you pine for as an adult. From the leafy gardens of Fitzgerald’s Park to the vast beaches of Garrettstown, Barleycove and Inchydoney, Cork is the perfect combination of city living and space for solitude.
Even with property prices on the rise, it’s still possible to find a somewhere to live with a decent garden and if you don’t mind a bit of DIY, it’s easy to find a reasonable home near the sea without carrying it around on your back like a hermit crab.
7. The Penneys hauls
Pop in for socks. Emerge with seven bulging paper bags of dresses, pyjamas, boots, bedspreads, fuzzy slippers and make-up that immediately disintegrate in the rain. Standard.
Main image credit: Ed Webster/Flickr