A German, an ethical dilemma and a #lockdown2 micro-adventure

Just when you thought all the microadventures had slowly wound up at the end of the last lockdown, they’ve made a reappearance! Here in Dublin, with our 5km limits, we’re realising that we’ll no sooner be out of our lockdown than we’ll be back into it again in January. So here’s another fun idea for families, couples, housemates or bubbles.

Tuesday night adventures

Or Tuesday night something-or-others. We still debate the meaning of what an adventure is (and thus what a micro-adventure could be allowed to be), but the bit we’re more sure of is that these happen on Tuesday nights. Of course if you choose to adopt such activities, they needn’t occur on Tuesdays, which means the continuity between you taking these ideas and us doing them, is simply that you’ve read this blog post and thought “I haven’t a clue what this Irish guy is wittering on about, but we might try something similar”.

They came about because we often work all day at our desk inside and soon realise that it’s past sunset (16.15 here at the moment) and we haven’t got outside or moved all day. Our motivation to leave into the dark, cold and wet is not often abounding, and so we figured we might need something to help us.

And so last Tuesday, just before I finished my Zoom call, I heard someone at the door and got up to investigate. I was too late to find anyone there, but did indeed find a letter from a local resident, Mr On. A strange name, I must confess, and one from whom I’d never received any personal correspondence before. Mr On was a well known character in the area, although sometimes considered a wandering nomad, far from home. Far from home, not because of his German roots (for which we should really call him Herr On, out of respect) but because he was nowhere near his normal abode.

Herr On, photographed (C) by Deirdre Horan of Crumlin Community Cleanup group

But although far from home, he seemed to know how to write a good letter more than most young people do these days (a great travesty, if you ask me). I attach his charming address below:

And so the stage was set for what would soon be known as the first ever Tuesday Adventure. Of course, somewhere in the world (perhaps even my world) before, there had indeed been an adventure which had happened on a Tuesday, but for these purposes we ask that you allow us some generosity as we recount the great feat of that first Tuesday.

And off we went on the first of our 10-step adventure, all to be completed in a mere 90 minutes, without ever straying out of our 5km lockdown limit.

Enjoying a quick break from the arduous adventure, by resting underneath one of the recently found clues.
Determined that this was to count as a cul-de-sac, it soon became apparent that Herr On did not agree and that the Germans are a little more precise about their terminology than I might have liked.

It was fear-invoking, outrageous acts like this that for me, were the reason that this was definitely an adventure. Just seconds before this photo was taken in fact, I was mere seconds away from being run over by a passing van, who for some reason did not understand that I was not crossing the road, but was obeying orders to stand in the round-a-bout in the middle of the road. (Perhaps this is why the US was so slow to adopt such madness as the modern-day roundabout.)

But this was not even the most challenging act of the evening. A request to get a photo of a dog being walked in the area was a challenge more suitable to an adventurous man like myself.

Forgetting all the controversy of the definition of a cul-de-sac and leaving it behind me, I set off for Eamonn Ceannt Park, in the dark! For even considering such acts of bravery, I hoped I would soon be rewarded by exactly what I was after.

Sadly it appears that during lockdown, not many people are venturing out of their houses at around 10.45pm on a Tuesday evening to walk around the streets. One kilometre in, and my hopes were raised by a person in shorts, moving from west to east across Clonmacnoise circle. The only moving target in many minutes. Desperate as I was to return to my warm bed, preferably having completed my adventure, it did seem a little ambitious to ask said shorted runner to find for me a dog in the local area and run back to me with it so that I could have a photo. So I moved on. And much to my delight, before even crossing the road to get to the dark park, I found what I was after!

My recent learning via the Photography Ethics Centre meant that I was uneasy with taking photos of people (and their dog) without their permission and posting it online on what might become a viral blog post (I always dream).

And so I was left with a dilemma. Here was indeed my one opportunity in perhaps the whole night (for who walks their dog after 11pm??). My options were limited.

And so, determined to do the ethical thing, I approached the man with the dog. He was the type of man, who, if I’d been someone prone to making stereotypes (which of course I’m not), I would have said he was a rough drug addict, just out of jail and walking home (you can tell by the look in their eyes). And so I didn’t feel as bad about what I was about to do.

In what would be later described by a local paper as an act of extreme gentrification, I subtly walked towards the man (and his dog), looking simply like I was off to take part in an adventure that a local heron had given me. The man suspected nothing.

In a flash, without him realising, I had his dog and had disposed of the owner. I turned, realising I now had what I needed. A way of getting my photo of a dog walker, without needing to ask for permission, by becoming the very thing I needed. Moreover, the dog I had commandeered (or shall we say, offered to walk), was none but a local German Shepherd dog. Herr On would indeed be impressed.

And so, our grand Tuesday night adventure was completed for week one. Little did I know the traditions that would come about following such an adventure.

Inspiring? I would say so.

But please don’t all go out on Tuesday night for your Tuesday-night-adventure. Lest it all get a bit much on the streets and I get questioned by the Gards for the craze.

2 thoughts on “A German, an ethical dilemma and a #lockdown2 micro-adventure

  1. Pingback: Travel Resources from 2020 | al-jabr

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