“A good laugh and a long sleep are the two best cures.” -Irish Expression I’m going to go have the long sleep – I hope this gives you guys the good laugh!
Disclaimer: Wrote this on the 6th, only getting around to posting it on the 7th.
Hiya! <— I’m definitely going to start using that. Sorry in advance to those who will be annoyed.
All right so I have a serious time limit on this one as my computer has less than an hour of power left and I’m still nervous to plug it in using the adaptor, the last time I did so (granted for 6 months straight) it fried my battery. So here goes!
As you all probably already know, if only because I haven’t shut up about it for the better part of a year, I am in Ireland for the next 3 weeks – particularly Dublin. To stave off any initial questions to those who tune me out when I get talking about the Emerald Isle (and I do it a lot for someone whose family hasn’t even been there for 150 years so I don’t blame you at all) this is my 4th (5th? No, 4th) time here. And yes, I still love it but I believe my time in Doolin in 2010 converted me to the Irish villages. They’re just so much more..accessible than the big cities! (Of which there are NOT many)
Despite my love of the rural, I am currently inhabiting the decidedly urban and this will be a short entry of observations that have amused my sleep deprived brain thus far and then I am pulling an old lady move and crashing by 7PM latest tonight. Does it make it more generationally-appropriate if I am crashing in a 6-person-coed dorm? Or wait.. does that make me younger…
Ah. OK look call me the 23-year-old-Canadian-History-MA-Candidate-staying-in Dublin-for-3-weeks-for-research-choosing-a-6-dorm-hostel-6K-from-the-relevant-archive-because-it’s-cheap-and-funding-confirmation-has-not-come-in-yet. Phew. Or, just call me Erin. It’s much shorter, though much less descriptive.
Anyway, after 24 hours of running around with travel and such until I finally got my dorm (and the accompanying shower! I’ve never been so excited for a low-pressure shared wash closet in my life – yes they have doors) and in those 24 hours many things were observed – here were just a few that amused me (bear in mind I was running on no sleep and probably a dangerous mixture of caffeine, alcohol and shitty airplane food).
#1. How did we ever survive overnight cross-Atlantic flights without personal movie screens?! (Never mind no entertainment whatsoever or, even worse, 3 months on a cramped ship. I’m shuddering partially from the thought of an adventure across-seas on a galley and partially from the horror of 3 months of “are we there yet”) And as a related question – when did they stop offering this. I attempted to watch Jack the Giant Slayer on the flight over. Either I need glasses (which would altogether ruin my reputation for perfect vision as well as cause some people to withdraw matchmaking offers. If you don’t get that reference don’t worry about it!) or those screens are ridiculously small. At any rate, it was a good movie but I gave up in my attempt to make the hours fly by staring at a pixelated screen and instead stared out my sightless window while listening to my iPod.
#2. I greatly admire parents who are able to fly with their babies even though their naturally competitive natures (the babies not the parents) seem to drive them to a game of “who can cry the loudest or in the weirdest way”. Follow-up question, what kind of prize do you earn for winning that contest.
#3. Babies are incredibly talented at going from “The squealing creature keeping you on the brink of sleep” to “The most adorable bundle of joy you have ever seen belly-laughing at their dad’s eyebrow antics”. The distinction is even harder to make out when said multi-faceted creature has just kept you up for 6 hours.
#4. Irish men NEVER cease to make me smile. Case in point – I walk up to a man working at the airport to figure out where to catch my bus and the first thing he says to me (and not in a greasy way) is “you, young lady, just made my day.” When I asked why he responded, “because you just walked past all these other lads to talk to me.” It was at that moment I realized I had literally waltzed past 4 or 5 attendants CLOSER to my bus in order to ask this particular man a question. I blame both my exhaustion and my natural awkwardness.
#5. You know how people say that new couples always think every song on the radio is about them? Or, to give another example, every woman with brown eyes calls “Brown-Eyed Girl” her song? (OK OK I am guilty of that one but honestly?! We brown-eyed girls have ONE SONG. I guess blue and green are easier to rhyme. I’m not bitter I swear – I also get sidetracked really easily. Back to my point I go.)
ANYWAY so there really truly are moments when a song’s sudden appearance, be it on TV or on the car radio – in this case it was my iPod’s shuffle so slightly less magical – is truly serendipitous. Case in point – right before I got my first (4th?) glimpse of the gorgeous Irish coast “The Blood of Cuchulainn” by Mychael and Jeff Danna began (which played in the Boondock Saints for all you BSers out there, see what I did there?) and it was just too perfect. If you haven’t heard the song look it up, it is beautiful. Anyway it was a magical moment for me and I fell in love with Ireland all over again – topped off by the fantastic Chicago song “Beginnings” playing for the duration of my flight.
#6. Some of you know that one of my biggest pet-peeves is people who can’t seem to figure out that if you drive on the right side of the road it makes sense to walk on the right side of a two-person path. Well…I was humbled here when I stubbornly walked on the right side of the side walk while everyone else walked on the left. And then it dawned on me – they drive on the left side of the road. Makes SO MUCH SENSE!
#7. Consistently reoccurring lesson here (remember this is visit #4): You WILL almost get hit by a car if you insist on looking both ways like you would back in Canada. Just read the “look left” “look right” hints on the road for God’s sake and stop being so stubborn.
#8. Hostels are not “home”. They’re the home of your inner awesome-I can speak other languages-I don’t need regular showers-bunk beds are cool again-packing more than 5 outfits is overrated-hippie self who has been dying to get out after 8 months in full-blown academia (and who MAY have made the occasional appearance in tutorials and freaked the students out). As I said, this version of your self is awesome but good God let him/her out to play once in a while because otherwise the initial reaction to being so free is INSANE over-stimulation. Heavy emphasis on the insane. Other symptoms include bursting out into laughter without warning, reading any and all signs out loud, and suddenly becoming shy when strangers talk to you (take it from someone who used to tell her life story to complete strangers as a small child – anyone can suddenly suffer from this symptom). The cure? An e-mail home, a blog entry and SLEEP.
#9. I will never stop being jealous of business class people as much as I embrace my hippie-self. My cramped legs and tired brain will not let me.
#10. Scandinavians are irrevocably beautiful and they will put you to shame wherever you travel in such an effortless, genuine, sweet way that you will end every conversation with them asking God why you were not born Scandinavian. This is a fact.
And with that, my computer is dying and I still need to edit and add pictures so … the universe has succeeded in temporarily shutting me up. For those few who are disappointed (out of the 4 people who read this blog) – oh don’t you worry lovelies, by the end of this trip you will be begging me to take a vacation (“from my PROBLEMS!” – that one’s for Mum and Dad)
More soon. I am so ready for bed.
Life IS Beautiful – especially when you’re in Eire.
xo – Erin