Tuesday, August 07, 2007

the land of little green men, part two

day two: wait- if i haven't slept yet, is it still day one?

in my journal, i ended the july 18th post by scribbling that i was going to start a new book, called the tender bar. by the time i arrived in dublin, i finally admitted defeat (couldn't focus past the fifth page, for some reason), and started on the painted veil by w. somerset maugham instead. i hate admitting defeat, but sometimes, it's necessary to hoist the white flag.

i didn't sleep more than maybe a half an hour on the flight across the pond. perhaps it was due to excitement. perhaps it was do to the high quality cinematic feature being shown (blades of glory) that i didn't watch. perhaps it was due to the less than nap-friendly seats.

yeah- my money's on that last one.

so, after a power nap upon our arrival at the hotel, mama and i bravely trekked through the drizzle in search of (as our tourmate nell would put it:) fame, fortune, and rich men.

instead, we settled for postage stamps, postcards, and souvenir t-shirts.

i took lots of pictures along the way. however, as you already know, i cannot show them to you- not because you'd be dazzled by my mastery of basic photographic skills, but because my camera decided it would be best for everyone if they never actually saw the light of day.

so, instead, you'll just have to picture a really tall tower, resembling an old-school boombox antenna, sticking up out of the middle of the road, near a sizable tidal river. you can call this either "the stiletto in the ghetto" or (in honor of the river) "the stiffy on the liffey".

you'll also have to picture the sign outside the hard rock cafe in dublin. more importantly, picture the four gift shop employees whose wages were paid for a week by my purchases. (after doing a quick conversion, i realized that my spiffy hard rock cafe hoodie set me back around $75. i am still clinging to the hope that my math was off due to sleep depravation, but i'm too chicken to get the receipt out and double-check.)

i'd tell you to also picture the book of kells and the oldest harp in ireland (depicted on the irish euros, as well as the guinness logo), but we weren't allowed to take pictures in the two rooms of the trinity college library where they were stored, so for once, my camera didn't completely gyp you out of anything.

after seeing the book of kells, we wandered back to the bus for a quick drive around town. while others enjoyed the drive past the guinness distillery, i enjoyed a view of my eyelids....or at least that was all mama said i missed. for all i know, bono could have been tap-dancing in the street in front of the clarence hotel, which he and the edge own, but heck- the pictures would be lost at this point anyway. i woke up in time to take some decent pictures of the doors in the georgian section of town, but like just about any other recent jim morrison sighting, they didn't come out. (of my camera. at all.)

as i noted in my journal, dinner was at a place that may have been called "the dungeon". i was going to look back at my photos to be sure but....you know. dinner was excellent- only two potatoes offered with our meals, equal to the number of free beverages we were allowed. mama settled into a couple pints of guinness, and i ordered the same for my first drink.

i am told guinness is an acquired taste. sadly, i have yet to acquire it. i'm not a beer drinker to begin with, and while i get that there's a large difference between bud light and guinness, i still don't find myself waking up in the middle of the night craving it.

tacos? yes.
blueberry cream soda? on occasion.
guinness? right up there with craving intense stomach cramps.

mama was thrilled by this development, and, not wanting to appear ungrateful for the hospitality, drained my glass.

my second beverage of the evening was white wine, chosen because i figured it had been long enough since my last white wine. (that would've been thanksgiving a couple of years ago, when i downed an entire bottle by myself in front of SO's whole family. i don't rightly recall how festive the after-effects may have been, but everyone's still speaking to me, which is more than i can say for some of my college roommates, so i must not have been in too rough a shape.)

it had not been long enough since my last white wine...or maybe it was too dry or tart or just plain funky. (can you tell i'm not a conniseur? can you also tell i'm not quite sure how to spell "conneiseur"? i figure if i do it a different way each time, one is bound to be correct.) sadly, mama was unwilling to drain that glass for me.

so, in my state of sobriety (okay- two sips away from sobriety), i headed off to the restroom before dessert. let's just say i'm glad i had all my faculties in proper order when i made my little visit, because i'm afraid that otherwise, i might still be trapped in a stall or wrapped up in the automatic towel roller thingy.

in order to enter the stall, one had to practically climb up on top of the trashcan, which was wedged under the toilet paper dispenser. now, i am not a large person, so i can only imagine how some of the well-padded folks managed this feat of acrobatics. this is yet another instance when i think it would definitely be better to be a boy.

to add insult to injury, after extracting oneself from the stall and attempting to wash up in the sink, one was confronted with another problem. the hot faucet was perfectly honest, the cold barely trickled, and due to the dual-spout setup, it was impossible to mix the two and come up with a happy medium.

(i neglected to warn mama about the faucets, instead focusing on the heavy outer door and the bathroom stall gymnastics. upon her return to the dinner table, i expected her to remark on the water situation, but as it turned out, she'd found a way to tussle with the towel roller thingy (yes, that is a technical term), and somehow broke it....at least i that's what i got from her rapunzel simile.)

in the next exciting installment: my bathroom woes continue, i attempt to eat using a spoon the size of a trowel, i take fabulous pictures of belfast, and somehow wind up with wet pants. (what vacation would be complete without all that- especially the wet pants?)


just some dude said...

You are drinking Guiness in Ireland and you don't like it?!! I'm jealous,I would have finished that for you! Damn, now I need a beer. You've got me all worked up now, and I don't even get to see any pics. ;-)

duff said...

some dude: just you wait. i actually have pictures for the next post....which i'll finish pounding out momentarily, as otherwise i'm sure i'd get called a tease. :)