Friday, January 12, 2007

The Vikings, the gay bar and the flying nun.

On the flight over from London, I sat next to a Polish midget and an Irish nun. When I said hello, the midget grunted at me and the nun saw this as an invite to keep talking to me throughout the flight. She was a lovely old duck who explained to me that this was only her second flight in her life and she didn’t like flying at all. As the engines roared just before taking off, she crossed her self and gripped the arm rests. What was weird was when the refreshment trolley came past, the nun pulled a mafia sized wad of cash out of a ratty old envelope and bought some salt and vinegar Pringles (which she shared with me). After we landed she crossed herself again, thanked me for talking to her during the flight and after saying our goodbyes she said “God Bless you Daniel”. Not being religious, I knew what this meant to her and took it as a compliment.

In the non-EU line up for immigration I got chatting to an Icelandic lass. According to her, Iceland was founded by Vikings and Irish monks about 800 years ago and that she was in Ireland researching her family's ancient history. Is this Viking/monk thing true? How is this possible?

When I got onto the bus to go into town, the grunty Polish midget was on there sitting next to the only vacant seat, so I sat next to her and started chatting. Not being that much of a conversationalist she didn’t say much, opting rather to make noises which sounded halfway between a giggle and a cackle. What an all-round odd person. The fogged up windows, unfamiliar territory and a grunty giggly cackly midget made for a rather disorientating bus ride into the town centre. I found myself to a phone and called my Irish mate Clair’s mobile number. I tried four times with no luck. A little unsure of what to do, I decided to ask at a nearby police station. They dialled the same number on their phone and it worked fine. I met Clair at The Ginger Man, a little pub just around the corner from her work. She was with Rob, a mate of hers from work. I was told to unload the pack, sit down and have a pint of Guinness. 47 minutes from arriving in Ireland to having my first pint of Guinness in a Dublin pub. Not bad.

Since then I’ve been spending the days wandering around sections of central Dublin. The weather while shitty at night, has been clear and crisp during the day. I’ve seen plenty of the centre part of Dublin, but without a bike my speed, flexibility and distance is limited. The parks are beautiful and the rows of houses look completely different to those in London did. And I have no idea what Bono was on about. All the streets here are clearly marked and easy to find.

The other night I joined Rob and Clair on a tour of the Guinness Storehouse. After a “do you think we’ll make it by five” cab ride, we got there just as they were shutting admissions. This did mean we got the place pretty much to ourselves and while a bit hokey and tourist like, it was cool to find out about how the beer was made in ye olde days and that the head brewer had signed a 9000(!) year lease with Dublin authorities. The advertising through history display was cool and the “we all have choices/how do I avoid hangovers” responsible drinking exhibit was a cack. Rob was convinced the complimentary pint of Guinness tasted better at the brewery than it did at the pub afterwards, but I thought otherwise. The one at the bar had a stronger malty taste, something I look for in a beer.

Last night Clair and I met up with her mate Kevin. We went for kebabs, had a couple of drinks at a fancy pants bar, then headed to The George, one of Dublin’s gay joints. I think some guy was having a go at chatting me up, Kevin corrected Clair’s assumption that there were more girls in the bar on the night (“are you sure you not confusing that group of twinks over there for ladies?”), and when I said that I felt a little out of place to one of the girls in the group she said: “Why? Because you’re straight?” I replied “Nah.. Because I’m Australian”.

Lexicon additions:

Drunk. The severity of drunkenness is implied by the accentuation of each segment of the word (ex: – I was so Arse….HOLE…A.. FIIIEDD last night when I got home and threw up on the carpet)

Gob Shite
Either the crap someone talks and/or the person who talks it.

A good time. Also, a generic identifier (ex: With all that craic and the like)

News in short:
My video camera is broken. I can film things, but can’t get stuff on OR off of the camera. Arse. ANZ are a bag of dicks who require several late night phone calls to help them clean up their mess. Long story which involves sending my replacement card to the wrong address, cancelling it and then closing my account becasue my automatic payments began bouncing after they changed the account number. For someone I randomly met on a train in Austria, Clair is turning out to be one of those instant yet fantastic friends you only meet a few times in your life.

There’s an interesting adventure on the horizon. More deets as they come to hand.


Dr C S Barrett said...

THis I can relate to. When I was in Dublin they were digging up some viking boat in the middle of town. They had to stop a building construction for a while, not a lot of happy but crack workers there I tell you. Also, when I went on the Guinuss tour the dumb yank infront of me left their free beer tickets at the counter, I don't remember much after that. Except that when you drink too much black beer, bad things happen to your insides. nuff said.

ps, we just bought an imac, woo.


jo said...

Craic is also what our Korean students called Craig

Love ya maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaate or should I say old Danny boy