What do you call two Canadians in Dublin? Doesn’t matter, they’re too drunk to care.
So, what an interesting time Dublin proved to be.
I arrived Friday afternoon on a 16 quid/return bus from Belfast. The ride down went quickly, and it was with much amusement I sat and listened to some very loud locals sitting beside and behind me (I swear one day I’m going to just sit beside the cute girl that is ALWAYS on the bus before me, but because there’s so many open seats, I just sit alone and end up having some whiny, smelly or loud old person beside me). It was fun to listen to them and try to figure out how much I could understand. The Irish-gypsies in Snatch had nothing on these people, it was great. After stumbling out of the bus station (due to lack of any known direction or placement in the city) I consumed my packed lunch by the Liffey, Dublin’s main waterway, and searched my backpack for the tourism pamphlet I was praying had a map in it. Fortunately it did and with what has become my standard rations, a ham and dairylea sandwich, in my belly, I began to wander towards the approximate area of Julie and Gerards.
I got in touch with Julie, found out she was at work and so headed down there to say hello. It was great to see her again. Julie and I have never been the closest friends in the group, which I would attribute to neither of us having much in common with the other, but that was quite inconsequential. Where we’ve only ever really been friends through shared friends, and would only on rare occasions hang out together in small groups, I feel that our friendship is much stronger now – it only took being 5,000 km away from home. Anyway, she and Gerard were working until 6 p.m. so I wandered around town, checked out an Internet cafe and such, until they were done. We then went back to their place and ordered some pizza, but not before stopping at the Off License (read: LCBO) and picking up some drinks. On the way back to their flat we were walking past this store that a family was coming out of when we hear the wife scream “Not here! Not in front of the kids!” to two guys waiting outside the shop who ignored her and began beating on the dad until he retreated into the store. “Welcome to Dublin,” Gerard calmly says to me. Julie had told me their place was small, and she wasn’t lying, but it was nice and cozy.
 Henry Street, a pedestrianized cobblestone street full of shops and Christmas shoppers leading up to the Dublin Needle. I have no idea if that’s what it’s called, but it really just looks like a big spike that stretches into the sky.  The river Liffey.
I had made plans to meet up with a girl named Joey I’d met through GlobalFreeloaders.com in a search for people to hang with in Dublin. In an e-mail she said that I could come with her to a party Friday night if I wanted. I wasn’t sure if Julie and Gerard had anything planned for Friday, so I kept plans loose, but when they said they only really had Saturday planned out, I figured I’d take leave and go see what Joey was like. I felt a little bad about ditching Julie and Gerard so quickly after getting there, but they said it was cool with them and we made plans to check out the city on Saturday.
I was instructed by Joey to find her wearing a brown poncho outside a bar called Eamon Dorans in Temple Bar, a section of Dublin that is a collection of bars, shops, cafes and related poshy/touristy stuff. After getting a bit lost I found her and her brother and we caught a bus to Rathmines (no idea how to spell that), the studenty area of Dublin. The party was great. Absolutely packed with people of all sorts. I wandered a bit, but spent most my time hanging close to Joey – partly because she was the only person I “knew” and partly because she was just really cool. Her brother, Derrick (sorry if I spelt that wrong), is a scarily smart guy and officially the only guy I know that can solve a Rubbix Cube in under 5 minutes (regardless of the state the cube is in) – he also got the lightbulb riddle in like a minute – currently the record. Everyone at the party was great, with the exception of this one Australian guy (that no one seemed to know). Joey and I were sitting on the floor in a bedroom packed with people just chatting away when he came up to us and sorta crouched down using my leg as support – or so I thought. He started getting a bit groapish with his “support”, but being the polite outsider that I was I didn’t say anything. After he left I hesitantly turned to Joey to ask her if she had noticed, and thankfully she had and we laughed about it. The guy continued to plague us with his presence all night, though as much as he was just an ignorant jerk in the drunkly slurred things he was saying, he did add a bit of humour when he mistakenly took a big swig of the cup he was holding, presumably assuming it was his drink, and forgetting that it was actually the improvised ashtray. I tried to warn him, I swear.
Things ran pretty late and I found myself walking about 3 km home through unknown Dublin streets at about 7 a.m. I fell asleep for a few hours, but got up at about 10:30 to get ready to walk about town with Julie and Gerard. We went down to the National History Museum and I learned all about how the country got its independence and whatnot. It was cool.
Sorta self explanitory, no? Apparently there are all kinds of these houses in this neighbourhood on the south side.
As I mentioned, Julie and Gerard had planned to show me a bit of Dublin nightlife on Saturday. Ironically we headed back up to Rathmines because it is a cheaper place to drink than the downtown core (Temple Bar). We met up with two of Gerard’s friends, Ricco (sp?) and hmmm… damnit, I can’t remember. The five of us headed to a bar whose name also escapes me, but it was a blast. Eventually Julie’s friend showed up and for whatever reason the four boys (me, Gerard and his two friends) left the girls and did a bit of a pub hop for about 40 minutes or so. We eventually returned and just hung out at the original bar until it closed. I had told Joey where I was going to be and in a pleasant surprise, she showed up with her friend Niall (again, sorry if the spelling isn’t right). After the bar closed I headed back to Nile’s place with him and Joey where we hung out, playing Jenga and chatting until the wee hours of the morning. I again headed back towards Julie’s after the sun had come up, and didn’t get to rest my head until about 9 a.m. I was beginning to think that people don’t sleep in Dublin.
 Julie, me and Gerard on Saturday night.  Gerard’s two friends (Ricco is on the right, signing his approval of the picture).
 “Cheers!”  Niall, myself and Joey.
Sunday was mostly spent just sitting around recovering from the night before. As was Monday, and ditto Tuesday. Though Tuesday I did manage to venture out and wander around a bit, but I didn’t really see much. Dublin isn’t really that exciting of a town for “tourism”, at least not for this tourist. I’m quite sick of museums and galleries, can’t be bothered to spend the money to walk around old houses and well… that’s about all there is to do. That stuff isn’t why I’m travelling anyway though. I’m looking for the culture, not the glass cases … and I think I found that in Dublin.
Saturday night I asked Joey if she’d like to hang out just her and I at some point before I left to which she quite rightly asked, “Like a date?” I sorta scratched my head, grinned and didn’t really know what to say. Well apparently I managed to get out, “Yeah a date.” But I didn’t know that until midway hanging out with her on Wednesday when I asked her if she would have said yes if I had asked to which she replied, “Isn’t this a date?” I swear.. I’m such an idiot some times. So yeah, we met up Wednesday. I was supposed to meet her for 1, but when she hadn’t shown up by like 1:30 I began to feel stiffed and decided to go and entertain myself. I found a little photography gallery in Temple Bar, wandered around the first floor, got bored and skipped the second floor in hopes that maybe Joey had shown up. She had! We spent the day doing a bit of pub crawling, where we eventually ran into some friends of hers.
An interesting side note – I didn’t technically eat anything on Wednesday. I managed to eat a grilled cheese in the wee hours of Thursday morning, but nothing but Guinness, whiskey and wine all Wednesday.
I gave my Dublin tourism book away to some girl from Arizona that I met on my way to the bus station yesterday, so I don’t know what this building is. I’d make a great tour guide, don’t you think?
At about 9:30 we decided we’d had enough of the bars and opted to grab some wine and watch a movie at her place in Malahide, a beautiful seaside suburb of Dublin. We drank some wine with her brother and hung out and chatted most the night away – again finding me still awake as the sun started to appear. At about 11:30 I caught a bus back to Dublin, dropped by Julie’s work to say goodbye and grabbed my stuff from her appartment before hopping on the 2 p.m. bus back to Belfast. I’m now drying out back at Carol’s. I’ve not 100% decided what I’m doing yet, but I’m either going to spend New Year’s with Julie and Gerard or with Joey and the people I met at that party. I think I’m siding with Joey’s plans. As much as hanging with Julie and Gerard would be cool, they are doing the pub thing for New Year’s and I know I’d have a blast, but Joey’s friends are all going out to a place called Glendalough, a beautiful picturesque place, and hanging out at a big cabin-like place there.
Even with the 7 euros a night there, plus booze and transportation, it’ll be cheaper than a night at the bar I think – plus I’d like to get some Irish scenery on my camera before I leave for mainland Europe on the 2nd – and it really wouldn’t pain me to see Joey again. 😉