Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Unluck o' the Irish

This is several days past due, and for that, I apologize. I feel as though there is so much to do now that there are only 2 days left of school, and I'll only be in England for about 5 more. Gotta get crackin' on stuff -- mostly my final paper for film. Is it wrong that I just don't care?

This last weekend. Dublin, Ireland. OK.

People in Ireland are probably some of the nicest people I've ever met. Generally speaking, they love Americans, and Americans love them. At least, this is what they loved to tell us.

Carlin and I went with a large group of people (ending up being about 11 of us total), and I'll just say that traveling in large groups is a bad idea. Especially when not everyone has a phone. Dublin isn't a very large city -- on the contrary, it's remarkably small -- but finding people is damn near impossible. That being said, we managed pretty well.

We stayed with our friends, Dan and Austin, at a hotel near the airport. About a 20 minute bus right from the center of the city. A hastle, but what can ya do? Other people stayed at this great hostel in the center of town, right near the Abbey Theatre (which I accidentally stumbled across when heading in that direction -- kind of freaked out, and LOOK! they're doing Woman and Scarecrow by Marina Carr, who, if you remember, came to UCSB when we did By the Bog of Cats and read about half of that play! So good...), and we ended up hanging out at the hostel, drinking a lot, because you can't drink in the streets.

Dublin is the most expensive city I've been to while traveling. It's on the Euro, which should be cheaper, but even compared to Paris it was insanely expensive. I felt like I ran out of money almost instantly. And there weren't any Barclays around, so the conversion rate must have killed me.

Not much happened in Dublin. A few really great moments, surrounded mostly by spending too much money, drinking, losing members of the group, drinking, drama, more drinking, and very cheap food (aka. Burger King and McDonald's -- they LOVE that stuff over here, what is wrong with them?!).

One of the great 'sites' we experienced was the Guinness Factory. First off, the building was totally amazing. I don't think you can go to Dublin and not pay to see this factory. If ever there was a cooler self-guided tour, I can't imagine it.

I don't like Guinness. I'll just put that out there right now. In the States, I think it tastes like heavy, muddy water. OK, that isn't really true, but I'm simply not a fan of super hoppy beer. However, when I tasted the beer from the factory... O. M. G. Though it was still really heavy (too much for me to drink all of it), it was so crisp and refreshing! Who'd have known? I was happy about that. I drank my pint for you, Dad, as you requested. =)

And also: I want to make a barrel. New life goal: make a barrel. Don't even ask me why -- if you saw the barrel-making video at the GF, you'd understand completely. Unquestionably the highlight of that tour. I even bought a Guinness barrel keychain, that's how cool.

On the Sunday we left, the girls hung around and took a bus tour around the city. Normally I hate that sort of thing, but this was actually really cool! We could get off at any stop and get back on the next bus -- which came every 10 minutes or so. All the sites, such as Trinity College, Oscar Wilde's statue/house, the factory, Temple Bar -- you name it, the bus went by it.

Oh. Except for anything related to James Joyce. That's what was weird. Everywhere you go in Dublin, there is some reference to Joyce. But on this tour, his name wasn't mentioned once. Isn't that odd?? I'm not sure what that was about.

I also ran out of batteries in my camera and refused to buy more. No more pictures, sorry. I'll have to steal them from someone else.

In the end (I'm keeping this short and completely free of details) Carlin and I had plane drama, we now want to sue RyanAir (yes, that's right, we're true Americans), we've realized how much we love great, cheap airlines like JetBlue, we wound up paying €75 to get on another flight since we missed our check-in (their fault) and didn't make it home until 1am, and I had two finals starting at 9:30am, neither of which I did a second of studying for.

Yeah. It was annoying. Had we not had a terrible travel time home, I might not be a little bitter at Dublin.

Don't worry, Dublin. I still love you, and Irish people are still really nice (unless they work for RyanAir), and I will come back someday when I have money. Or rather, I'll be going to Dingle, like Kait and Adam suggest, and I'll probably stay away from you for a while. No offense.


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