July 09, 2004

Weekend Update

So here's the update --- text only for the moment, but I should get my pictures back tomorrow, and assuming I didn't blank the roll and can figure out the scanner, I'll put them up. There will be another email, but I thought I'd try and get you people while you were still at work and in need of diversion.

Ireland, Week Two.


Bought bicycle. Rode it home, which was a bit of an adventure, as bicycle-riding has been a strictly spectator sport for me for, let's see --- more than a decade, ever since I flipped over a hedge after coasting down a hill on my way back from the corner store, bending the frame of my ten-speed. (Remarkable, that ---I took the hedge in a clean somersault and walked out of the neighbor's yard without a scratch on me; I emerged to find the bike half-engulfed in the shrubbery, its back wheel spinning forlornly.) The clichés are all true, of course, but the fact that my muscles remembered how to ride a bicycle perfectly well didn't mean they didn't resent it. If my jelly-leggedness upon alighting was anything to go by, there are some muscles in my thighs that, after twelve years of anticipation, were this close to atrophying entirely. Worse luck for them, I suppose.


Went walking in Dublin --- this part's much better with pictures, but that'll have to wait until tomorrow. For now, I'll say only that Dublin seems to be a lot like Boston, in that you're wandering around, taking it all in with the bovine placidity common to tourists, when you look at something and go, "Hey, wait a second, isn't that really historic? One if by land, two if by ….something? Revolutionary what now?" Or in Dublin's case, "Say, that's a really big post office. Huh. A big stone post office. You don't think…? Well, I'll be damned."

Monday and Tuesday were boring.


Nearly died. Other than that, nothing of interest.

(Oh, really, I'm just being melodramatic. I was crossing an intersection on my bike when I was overcome by a coughing fit --- damn cold --- and had to pull off onto the sidewalk. By the time I was done hacking, the light had changed, but I thought I, being a slick ex-New Yorker, could surely just wheel my bike across to the other side during the next break in the traffic. And indeed I could, it was just that a city bus concealed from me a small sedan also taking advantage of the break to make a left turn. I booked it and 'scaped the fury of the oncoming fender, but he did nick the back tire of my bike, which made me stumble into the curb and scrape my palms.)


Phone was cut off this morning, which was more than mildly irritating. Seems there was a bureaucratic kerfluffle occasioned by my landlord's having the account changed over to his name while still paying the bill out of the probate funds, or something like that, and Eircom ended up mistakenly thinking it was owed 325 Euro. I think I may yet learn to speak of the Irish utility services with the same sort of weary distaste, occasionally punctuated by a sardonic chuckle, that my landlord employs when referring to them. Especially after I called the cable people a second time to tell them how eagerly I wanted to procure their services, and they said they'd call me back Monday, with a heavily implied "Maybe. If we feel like it." In any case, the phone was back on by later that afternoon, but the cessation of services meant I had to leave the house in order to get anything done --- a good thing probably, as I've just found out the grocery store delivers and that means there's nothing to bar me, really, from sitting here reading stuff on the net all day, letting my fingernails grow into spiral curlicues. Well, except the threat of poverty.

Anyway, the phone being cut off meant I had to go into the city and find an internet café to email my landlord at, which I did. Then I searched for jobs for a while, and then decided to go exploring. Wandering about with no particular destination in mind, I still managed to get pretty much hopelessly lost, and meandered for some considerable time in the south east section of Dublin, crossing Ringsend Park into Sandymount and passing for a while along the intermittently scenic Rock Road (which overlooks Dublin Harbor) before happening upon a DART station (the Dublin equivalent of the Commuter Rail or the Metro-North or the BART, o my sparse and far-flung readership). I had to go three stops back to return to the city center, where I promptly got lost again. Well, not as badly lost, anyway, as this time I managed to find O'Connell Street and from thence my bus home.

Though really, as I consider the question now, I suppose I can't really be lost someplace I've never been, can I? Especially if I go there without a map, and having no destination in mind. Lost implies a destination, or a least a sense of familiarity. To be lost is to be dis-oriented, not un-oriented; and I am a deliberately compassless traveler….That's definitely the Recommended Adult Dose of my inane nattering for today. Moving on.

Oh, by the by, the O'Connell Dart Station? Made of orange brick, with while tiles along the platforms, and the trestels painted green. Think on it for a minute; it sort of sneaks up on ya. Makes me wonder what Penn Station would look like if it was Red, White, and Blue, instead of Shit Brown, Concrete, and Accumulated Dirt.


Spent most of the day trying to make my shiny new iPod work with my old and cranky computer; my baby got the rheumatism somethin' fierce, and her old Win98 bones don’t want to bend themselves to welcome the iPod's lithe new software. Did a little job hunting. At this particular moment, in addition to writing y'all I'm drinking a Rock Shandy and ordering some groceries. Exciting, these travels in strange lands, eh?

Posted by Diablevert at July 9, 2004 03:29 PM | TrackBack

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