A note about Irish distances

This is especially for people coming to Dublin 2019:

If an Irish person (or website, for that matter) tells you something is a 10 minute walk, they are almost certainly lying to you.

It’s a well-intentioned lie. They reckon anybody can walk for ten minutes, I think, so if they say it’s ten minutes, well, that sounds grand and not a bother and you can manage that. But if it is actually a ten minute walk, that is a matter of sheer coincidence and should not be used as a measuring stick for other times you’re told something is a ten minute walk.

Usually a ten minute walk is really about 20 minutes. Sometimes it’s 85.

Everything in Dublin is, according to rental ads, no more than a 15 minute walk from city centre or St Stephen’s Green. Everything in Ireland is no more than a comfortable 10 minute walk from a train station.

Honestly, we’d been here for years, trying to figure this and other similar phenomenon out, when it finally dawned on us that broadly speaking, the Irish people, who love a good story, would rather lie to you than disappoint you. (Of course, you’re definitely disappointed when you discover that the ten minute walk is actually an hour’s slog, but then you’re an hour away from them and they don’t have to face your disappointment…)

Anyway, this is perhaps particularly important for people coming to Worldcon who may have disabilities or difficulties navigating distances. If your hotel website says something’s a 10 minute walk, verify that with Google maps, which is much more accurate.

(All of this brought on by the fact that I was looking at a hotel website for a book today and it said it was a 10 minute walk from a location that it is 100% not a 10 minute walk from unless you are a speed-walker and I thought ‘crap, people are not going to know this…’)