Ireland Part 2: Arrival in Dublin

19 Nov

I spent the train ride to Dublin trying to take my mind off my error.  Hodge and Joe seemed slightly disgusted with my carelessness but tried valiantly not to hold it against me.  Had I been alone, no one would ever have to know about my tremendous stupidity. We talked about our plans and every time the plan went beyond Ireland, my heart sank, as I was convinced I would be stuck in the country for a long time to come.  Eventually, being a younger and more optimistic Kevin Dooling, I began to excite myself over the newcome ability to meander every nook and cranny of this rich country.  The ruins of castles and miles of green grass I viewed from the window encouraged the sanguine renaissance I was internally trying to nurture.  I reminded myself that I was bellyaching over being stuck in Ireland, on vacation, for a month and just how ridiculous that sounded.

The station in Dublin was bustling and I was immediately struck by the number of attractive women I was seeing.  I had been told that if there was one negative thing to be said about Ireland it would be that the women, in general, are not astoundingly beautiful.  Once again, I am not sure where I picked this up but it was blown away on that first walk through the train station.

We had walked around Limerick briefly, but due to the abundance of policeman armed with assault rifles and the early morning dull, our first steps out of the Dublin station felt as if they were our first in Ireland.

Finally feeling as if we had truly begun our journey, we set out to feed our turmoiltious bellies and drink a few pints of Guinness because we were Tourists and that’s what tourists do in Ireland.  We settled in at a pub named Ned’s close to the Guinness factory and ordered a round of the dessert-like beverage along with several random sandwiches, the contents of which were a complete mystery to us while ordering.  Sitting at the bar early in the afternoon were four men who appeared to be joyously hammered.  They took an immediate notice to us and struck up a conversation with just the slightest hint that they might be looking for an excuse to beat the shit out of some arrogant Americans.  Joe and Hodge were relatively quiet while I could not content myself with short answers.  Eventually I found myself alongside the four men discussing various topics relevant to the entire World.  Specifically the recent death of Michael Jackson.  The gravity of their questions regarding the beloved pop artist took me by surprise.  They were desperately trying to coax me into sharing my personal opinion on the man, mainly if his pedophile tendencies should fully tarnish his musical heroism.  I took the safe road and acknowledged both my distaste for anyone who fancies little boys while giving credit to his artistic genius.  This diplomacy seemed to satisfy the men and the rest of our lunch was spent exchanging jovial quips about American vs. Irish cuisine.  The point being neither was anything to write home about.

After lunch we took a smaller train into the suburbs surrounding Dublin to a town called Malahide. It was approximately twenty minutes to Malahide and at this point, sleep deprivation and a four hour time shift had left us all feeling like we had just downed an eighth of mushroom each.  Hodge attempted to put the moves on a gorgeous girl from Sacramento returning to her Aunts from her own adventure, but the slurred speech and potato sacks under his eyes led to instant rejection.  Joe and I enjoyed the encounter from the other side of the  train, giggling like assholes.

We wandered the oddly familiar looking streets of Malahide for an hour,  in search of our home for the next week.  Malahide looked no different than your typical Upstate New York suburb in terms of lay-out, the only difference were the front yards; which were significantly smaller and greener than those in New York.  They were also all walled in and contained at least one palm tree.  All over Malahide were short, almost decorative palm trees.  After a couple hours of walking we came to the last street name in our complicated series of directions.

Eventually, our humble abode presented itself.  The home had a large, ornate front gate and was barely visible through the thick green bushes and foliage that grew in the front yard. Urns and steep gabled windows peeked above the foliage creating a beautiful contrast of red brick on emerald.  A green house sheltering a single peach tree stood in the back yard about a hundred yards from the back door across a plain of knee high grass.  The place was wild-looking and gorgeous.  It was still early, about One PM.

We settled in and I waited to hear from the bus drivers in Limerick who I was certain at this point had completely forgotten about the blonde American who couldn’t keep his shit together for even one full day.  I figured they had told me what I wanted to hear and what they believed would get me out of their office as soon as possible.  I was, at this point, very comfortable with the idea of hanging out in Ireland for the duration of my trip.  I had an amazing home base and the money I would save on travel would no doubt be spent on amazing days of expensive self discovery.  I would delve into every nook of Ireland and scrape the bottoms of all the crannies.  It was going to be thorough and vaguely sexual.  Not even five hours from when I had left the station,  the phone rang and the old dispatcher’s voice was on the other end.

“What’d I tell you?”  He asked in a cocky tone.

“Not to worry and that you’d find my passport?”  I responded fully aware of what this was leading to.

“It’s at the Dublin train station waiting for you.”

I thanked the man perfusely and even said, “god bless you” because I didn’t have an equally as potent, secular equivalent.

I arrived at the Dublin train and bus station around 6:45 pm—only about ten hours after losing the passport–and after a brief conversation with the ‘information specialist’ working the help desk, an envelope labeled: “To Be Collected by Mr. Kevin Dooling” was handed to me.

The retrieval was effortless and made possible entirely by the instinctual kindness shown by a group of Limerick Bus Authority employees.  . I wrote a note in this journal to make sure I went back to the bus station and give the guys a six pack and a handshake.


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