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Ireland Day 3: A Freak Appears

Posted by jana on August 21, 2004

The copying from my paper journal has been working pretty well for me so far, so I'll continue with that.

This morning I had my alarm set for 8, but I didn't need it as I got up at 7:30. I had a great night's sleep, plus I'd had that nap earlier, so I just felt ready to get up. Also, sleeping in a room with so many other people, even though they try to be quiet, I still heard a lot of them get up. I'm fine with going back to sleep after minor disturbances - I excel at it, actually - but today didn't see much point in sleeping any longer. Very unusual for me, but I have more reason to want to get up here than at home when I'm not working, and more of a reason to want to get up than when I'm working or going to school.

After a (free) breakfast of toast and cereal I left the hostel a little after 8. Bought some juice and drank it in St. Stephen's Green. Wandered around a little bit, then decided to head to the airport, as I wasn't sure exactly which bus to take or when it would leave. I managed to find a bus easily enough, and got to the airport about 40 minutes early. I read until 11, then started to look around for Ulrica. After one circle around the arrivals area I saw somebody I thought could be her walking in my direction, accompanied by a guy I assumed to be Shaun's brother. Even though I was fairly certain it was them, I'm always worried about being wrong, so I walked by while oh-so-casually staring at them until they realized they were being stared at and greeted me. Ulrica hugged me and introduced me to Shaun's brother. Here's I had a little problem...I couldn't for the life of me tell if she had said "Colum" or "Colin." I hoped that this would be made clear to me later, but every time someone said his name it sounded like it could be either. I did what I usually do when I find myself in such a situation and just refrained from calling him by name at all.
(I was never actually completely sure until I asked Shaun about it a week later. It's Colum.) I did talk to him, though. Cute but hard to understand. Apparently mumbliness runs in his family, according to Uli at least.

I wish I didn't get so tongue-tied on meeting people. I knew Ulrica already, but still had trouble making conversation for quite awhile. Just smiled and nodded and laughed nervously a lot. After we met her family, Colum took them in the car while Uli and I took the bus, as we couldn't all fit. That gave us time to just talk and bond, and I felt quite a bit better.

Ulrica's parents were very friendly. Her brother hardly spoke at all. I wondered if he spoke English, but he did manage to order lunch from the restaurant we went to with no apparent trouble. Immediately after meeting up on O'Connell Street in Dublin we headed for Forbidden Planet, an awesome sci fi store, because Uli's dad pretty much demanded it. Uli pointed out all the Lord of the Rings merchandise that Shaun would kill her for buying. Top of her list was the Lord of the Rings Trivial Pursuit game, which she definitely would have bought if she'd had the money. Poor Uli, I hope she gets her game someday.

We walked around for awhile in search of food and eventually decided on an Italian restaurant. I made the mistake of ordering pizza, which turned out to be HUGE. I was only able to eat about three slices. Colum did much better with his.

After a trip to some kind of realty place and a pharmacy, the Swedes and Colum had to leave. As I had a good chunk of the afternoon left, I decided to go to Trinity College to see the Book of Kells, one of the things I definitely wanted to do in Dublin. Now that I'm here I'm finding I don't want to do as much city sightseeing as I had though.
(My only real regret with my trip is that I spent too much time in the city, actually, but it's not too big of one. A regret, I mean, though it's not too big of a city, either.) I'd studied the Book of Kells a little bit in Art History, so I was very excited about getting to see it. I was not at all disappointed. Wish that I could have seen more pages, but guess they can't really be displayed without taking the book apart or something. I was quite impressed with Trinity College itself. Since I couldn't take pictures of the Book, here is the college:

And this, and this.

Before heading back to the hostel I found a net cafe (actually, they're kinda everywhere) and decided to go ahead and pay for some uninterrupted time. Internet in the hostel is free, but it disconnects every six minutes. You can reconnect as much as you want, but have to try to plan everything out in six minute increments so that you don't lose anything. Decided I could afford to splurge a little so that I could let my parents know I was alive and such.

That pretty much concludes that day. Tomorrow is the great convergence of Freaks in Dublin.