warning: this post might aggravate those with adhd – may 29, 2009
December 1, 2011, 8:33 am
Filed under: wondering road

now that i’m gone i feel like i can provide an account of my experience in dublin. to tell of it as it’s happening it to limit it. now in the past, it is something whole that i can put a handle on. dublin is a simple city full of friendly people, meandering streets and lanes, a proud gaelic heritage and a sense of levity in life that i highly commend. this applies to the city centre of town, i never made it to the outskirts so i can’t offer any info on those areas but in my experience the suburbs of anywhere are pretty much the same. although i liked it, all the dubliners i met thought the city was crap. filled with georgian architecture i sometimes felt like i was in dc, it’s the only other city i know of where the buildings in a downtown area don’t tend to go above 5 or 6 stories. one of the downsides to dublin is that it’s overflowing with people like me, travelers out to drink in the world. fortunately enough for myself i was able to get away from that. if you’re a young traveler looking to go out in dublin the place you’re likely to be sent is temple bar. while it has a distinctly irish flavor, it’s pretty much like any other touristy night-on-the-town scene to be found in a big city. my advice: check out a concert or a type of event you’d be likely to go to at home, that’s where you’ll find the like spirited people of that place.

as predicted toots and the maytails brought the spirit i needed, and as with most of my stories it starts in the past. the day of the concert, wednsday, was a hectic one. i’d been up late the night before meeting my hostel family. that’s one of the most beautiful things about traveling, if you stay long enough in any place there’s a little family that gets created, and this one was quite something. it consisted of: a, a young woman from ohio who’d been teaching in scotland; r, an older peruvian man living in germany; m, a young german guy recovering from a speed addiction who’d been taken under r’s wing; and t, a german economics student who’d been partially raised in south africa. i’d met a, r and m over dinner; we were all making pasta in the hostels’ kitchen and i just happened to poke my nose into their convo when it turned to news of the next soccer match. it’s barcelona against manchester, i answered without being asked. that progressed to us eating dinner together and making plans to go out that night. we never made it past the stoop. m met some german girls that were going to go out with us. i brought the beer i’d been gifted earlier and shared my bounty while we waited. the german girls never showed, but a group of german guys did. t was one of them; quite drunk already we lighted on the topic of what the hell is wrong with the world and found we both had quite a lot to say about it. they say alcohol and politics don’t mix, but this time it worked. i eventually decided to go inside and sleep, i knew the next day was gonna be a full one. we made plans to reconvene at three for a soccer match and to try and meet up after the concert in, where else, temple bar.

i woke up the next morning, tired, hungover, and having missed breakfast. very slowly i got my life together and went to have brunch with a girl i’d met on a cruise in the carribean about a year.5 ago. we’d exchanged e-mail addresses and had kept in touch through that damnable yet undeniable facebook. it was nice. i ate in a restaurant for the first time since i’d been gone and got to pry into ireland from a different perspective. after lunch, i scoped out the bus station and ran back to the hostel to meet the fam. needn’t have bothered. m was missing, r was doing laundry and t and a had no idea what to do from there. i decided to use the extra time to pack since it would have not only been outrageously audacious planning on my part but rude, to do in the morning. after that i finished a few more errands, getting my phone unlocked and getting a new sim card, getting dressed and re-dressed a million times. i didn’t know where the venue was so i left early to provide ample time to get lost. which i did, but i needn’t have worried about that either, i was there at exactly concert start time and they hadn’t even opened the doors yet. go figure.

tripod stands out like a gargoyle among stuffed animals. surrounded by quaint georgian townhouses, tripod is a dominating dungeon warehouse of a place, one look and you know something interesting is in store. i was one of the first inside so it was pretty empty, i grabbed a guiness, took a tour, wrote a little bit and waited for it to fill in. feeling slightly awkward being at a concert alone, i sat in their loungey area fiddling with my phone and trying to understand how it worked ( i got it in chile 5 years ago making it now a total mystery to me). when i’d finished my guiness and my fiddling i went back into the main room to find it packed. all the white people with dreadlocks in dublin had come out for the show. on stage were three of them crooning with all the irish reggae soul one can imagine. and then, there was toots.

what can one say about toots, the man took us to church. with the soul of james brown, the leather of rick james, and the swagger of a man who knows his business he had the place jumping. total total total total awesomeness. somehow everyone was not inspired to move their dancing feet, which i found absurd, but i was very pleased to have another devotee to the dance beside me. after rocking out and befriending the dancer next to me. i started on my way back to the tourist’s world. luckily for me, a cigarette changed all of that. i had given all of mine away the night before, so i stopped to bum one from a group on the street. it turned out they had been at toots as well and were also feeling the glow of dance and spirit. we chatted it up and they invited me to hang with them for the night. i let them know i was on my way to meet friends, and they were not put out at all, to temple bar to find your friends then, and if we don’t you must come to this reggae spot with us. and off we went. we got to temple bar and didn’t find them, so away we went. andrea, damien, tony, katy and ben, the best companions for a night on the town one could ever ask for. we danced the night away to ska, roots, rock and reggae in an underground pub that couldn’t have been more like home if they’d had the brownie man on telegraph there. after we had worked the band to their limits, holding down the front row and keeping the group pumped to play long after their trumpet player had called it quits, we left and headed to andrea’s place. we spent the rest of the night doing what it is that young bohemians do. and then the sun came up. i went out for a few minutes to greet the dawn, as is my custom when i’m awake to catch it and gave my thanks to the universe. a couple hours later me and katy were in a taxi back to our respective places, she had work and i had a bus to catch. and that is how dublin ended for me.

scotland began with me falling asleep on the train after having been to both of belfast’s airports trying to catch my plane to glasgow. to anyone making the trip anytime soon, note that ryanair flies out of the city airport no matter where it’s going. i eventually made it, and spent the next few hours napping in between train connections. but i finally made it edinburgh, where i am now, staying in a friend’s flat. it’s an absolutely gorgeous city, which i have been lucky enough to catch with the sun. as with dublin i won’t attempt to write it down until i’m finished with it, but so far i’m in love. arthur’s seat is behind me outside the flat’s kitchen window and i am looking forward to doing some hiking, which is desperately needed after a week of living the life dublin. that’s all for now. oh no, just kidding. i’ve also added pictures! keeping in line with my worst tourist ever mo, they are random, few and have little if nothing at all to do with the places i’ve been. but everybody likes pictures right?!


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