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Overseas and Off-Campus Programs Blog

Bigfoot in Dublin

Author Name

Emma Gilmartin

Author Program

Dublin, Ireland

Program Semester and Year

Spring 2019

Student Major

Psychology, Political Science

I am cursed with large feet. And no, I don’t mean “ha ha my feet are kind of big” large, I mean size eleven. I mean I sometimes have to buy mens shoes because womens shoes don’t come in my size large. Though I have experienced many jokes in my life about how I should join the swim team because I essentially have built-in flippers, or the ever-increasing originality of the nickname “bigfoot” never before have I experienced such discrimination as I have in Dublin.

Everyone in this country is short. Great for seeing over crowds, great for seeing plays, not great when the one pair of shoes I brought begin to fall apart. Not only do I have grievances to air with a certain Canadian boot company for selling me shoes that are falling apart a month later, I also cannot find a replacement. I have gone to four separate shoe stores and the largest size any of them have carried is a nine and a half. Being called bigfoot or flipper feet is bad enough, but being denied shoes altogether by the city of Dublin is an egregious wrong that has been done to me, and I demand to be heard. We walk an average of five miles a day between class and the Binary Hub (the apartments we live in) and shoes are an essential. Though I have spent enough time in Portland to become aware of the anti-shoe trend, rest assured that Dublin has thrown a variable into the equation that neither you nor I saw coming.

Dublin is a fairly clean city. The amount of trash is kept to a minimum and we frequently dodge both street and sidewalk sweepers on our daily commute. There is, however, an affront to the cleanliness of this city that seems to be in ample supply. The streets are constantly, chronically, littered with shit. And no, dear reader, this cannot be simply chalked up to negligent pet owners, though they could also be culprits. Many of the deposits that are indelibly seared into my mind are distinctly of the homo sapien variety. Not only this, but close to our apartment complex, close to home, close to my heart, a serial pooper is on the loose. You may wonder how I know these droppings are created by the same person. Let me just say, if you had seen the distinct nature of this feces, you too would know deep in your soul that they could only be the work of one person. To add further evidence to my claims, there have been sightings of this defecator in the act.

This, clearly, adds feces to the fire of my dilemma. Not only am I soon to be bootless in Dublin, the prospect of walking these streets without adequate footwear is one that chills me to the bone. My conclusion from this experience is two fold: one, as an international city, Dublin needs to accommodate international foot sizes. Two, Miggeldy this one’s for you, Dublin is in desperate need of public toilets. Please, help me keep shoes on my feet and shit off the streets.