Journalist

18 years working as journalist and editor for the main Guatemalan newspapers and several local magazines. My fields: art, culture and history.

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braliem9jousc@gmail.com

Tuesday, 31 May 2016

A Meteor user

 
Picture: Meteor

I would like to say that one of the first things I did when I arrived was drinking a pint of Guinness. Almost.

“We don´t have a store. You can buy the chip you need for your smartphone at the Spar just right to arrivals gate”, replied me someone when, some weeks ago, I wrote in a Facebook fan page asking for internet services.  

That day was one of many times I bought something in a Spar.  

Why not a beer before the chip? I must to confess I can’t live without internet.  

It took me some minutes to configure out the new settings in my mobile. When I restarted the phone I was ready find my way to St. James Hospital area, where I will sleep my first weekend in Dublin. 

Picture taken from
 
I left the airport being a Meteor user, and carry on two green handbags and a bigger green baggage. Oh, talking about green I also was wearing green. From top to the bottom. Yap: shoes, socks, pants, sweater, shirt, glasses and even underwear. 

I’m sure people around me thought I was ready for a leprechaun party and I was right selecting my outfit.  In fact, everything inside my luggage was green. As some airport employee could see because it was opened in some part of the flight. “I’m sure was the Dutch security”, told me an old lady.  

When I picked up my suitcase I realized all padlocks were broken. Luckily everything was inside: 20 kg of more green stuff: gadgets, clothe, shoes and even a green raincoat that I never used.  

Obsessed with the green? Oh yeah, that’s the reason why people call me “the green one”. For more than 17 years I wore green all the time. That was my way to await the big day.

Saturday, 28 May 2016

It was a long flight

Photograph Cyril Byrne, taken from The Irish Times

Vacations. I’m here for vacations”, I said to the officer at the airport. “You came from a far place!” told me surprised, before stamp my passport.

He was right.

I flew almost 12 hours from Guatemala City to Dublin. It was a long flight: three airports and an entire life yearning to visit Ireland.  

The original plan was to stay in the country only for three weeks, on that moment I didn’t have idea that my journey would be extended for six months.

A completely different person is writing these lines than ever could imagine the guy who left the airport that Thursday. I can’t forget the date I arrived: September 17 of 2015.

Thursday, 26 May 2016

That sign, that gay sign.

*Picture was taken from  Pantibar FB page / www.facebook.com/panti

I was walking lost, close to the Liffey until I saw it: a line of several red letters on black background. “That’s the place”, I said. And I recognized the bar where I was drinking the last night, in my first visit to a gay pub in Dublin, well; in fact, it was my first time in Ireland. If someone abroad would ask me for an icon from the gay Irish scene, with no doubt, I would reply: “the Pantibar’s sign”. 

Recently I read about the DCC asked to Pantibar to remove its sign. How’s possible? There’s no any local law to protect the city’s iconic elements? We are not talking about a sign from a new cinema or recent restaurant. That sign is probably one of the few public things that can speak about gay community in Dublin. I can’t understand why the DCC is interested in a sign when, I’m sure, the city have real problems that need to being solved.

What’s wrong with the sign?

Talking about signs. In Madrid, in “La Puerta del Sol (Sun’s Gate Square) visitors can see the sign of “Tío Pepe (Uncle Joey), a neon publicity of local brewery placed there in 1935. When the local city council removed it in April 2011, citizens began a campaign (like actually Pantibar is doing online) that finally allowed get back the sign (restored) to the square, in May 2014.

Dubliners don’t need to have the same experience with the Pantibar’s sign.

By the way, in spite of local laws that protect Madrid city center from neon signs plague, the Tio Pepe publicity was “reprieved” twice by the city council.

Taking away the sign from a gay bar, in the middle of an international gay-rights movement, and in a development country that became the first one to legalize same-sex marriage by referendum… Hmm? I don’t know but there are a lot of things that don’t make sense.

Please, if you don’t want to lose an iconic sign in the city, sign this petition.

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