Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Slow Saturday

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Today was much improved from my mood yesterday. I sounds like I’m bipolar or something, but I assure you I’m not. Just adjusting. I decided to take Mom’s advice and embrace being here. The weather holding out – still the essence of perfection – made it much easier to enjoy a walk about the town for more adventurous purposes. I did enquire about jobs at four previous CV drops. They each said they were no longer hiring or that the position had been filled. Great…

I went to the tourist information office again. This time to ask: 1. Where in the city was a bicycle hire. 2. The best way to get to the Aran Islands. 3. The best way to see the Ring of Kerry starting in Galway. 4. Any hiking and mountain trails accessible for the day from Galway. 5. Any protestant churches in Galway?

The lady was the most helpful person I’ve yet to encounter here. She answered every single one of my questions with clarity and accuracy (I’m assuming). She even told me to go check with the Citylink office next door because they might be looking for some extra staff.

On my way down toward the river I stopped by the Amnesty International café and shop to check on my volunteer status. I hadn’t even heard back from people I was going to give time to for free! I was able to speak to the manager this time and she scheduled me to start work/training on Monday from 4:30-8. My theory is that I can give them time and help and they can train me on the ways of running the till (register) and how to make all the different coffees – the experience I seem to need. In addition to being a good thing to do, it gives me something to occupy some time.

After leaving there, I stopped to look at a map of the Connemara area where some mountain hiking is and a national park the lady at the TI told me about. I walked in the outdoor store where the map was and started asking questions of the guy at the till. He showed me all the area on the map and where the best places to go were. He also gave me the contact information of the president of the mountaineering club at the NUIG (Galway University). He said that starting in October, they take trips every weekend to hike around and some climbing is involved if you want. He said that while it is priority for the University students, they often have a few seats on the bus available for others to join!

Moving on, I found the bicycle rental place just across the river. They rent bikes for 10Euro a day or if you’re a student you have the option of a 40/60/75 Euro for 1/2/3 months. I think it would be more worth the money to go with a month or two month rental.

I sat down on a bench by the river and had a bite of pizza to eat that I’d packed in my bag. I was beside a little old lady who was talking about the weather. It really is most unusual and lovely weather. It has brought out scores of people on the streets. Maybe the boost in sales will inspire employers to get out the CVs and start hiring!

I said goodbye to the lady and crossed the river to relax in the sunshine on the stone wall that divides the rushing river from the recreational pond. Some game involving kayaks, a ball, and two goals was being played in the pond section. Crowds of people were sitting on the wall letting their feet hang over the water. It was very enjoyable. The people playing ranged from boys and girls to men on each team. There were three games going on at once and a platform in the middle for referees to stand on. I watched for a bit then pulled out my ipod, laid down and took a nap.

I got up around 3:30 to use the internet at the library before it closed. The first thing was to e-mail Chiara, the president of the mountaineering club. Next on the list was to find out about the best way to go to London in two weeks. As long as it all works out, the flight should be 25 Euro round trip plus a 15 pound bus ticket (both ways) into London and 10 Euro bus to Dublin and back. Free place to stay for 3-4 nights and then the expense of food and metro. Shouldn’t be too bad considering what it’s for.

When I got home I went downstairs to pick up some strawberries. They were all gone, but Kevin suggested blueberries instead. I bought some and stayed to talk for awhile. I will be honest I was partly motivated to stay and talk so I could drop the hint I could work for his mother when he left for college in Scotland. It turned out we had a really decent conversation between customers about a lot of different things.

Sadly, one customer came in and said she was on her way to a funeral. The parents had not let the child go to the disco last night, so he took his own life. I was shocked. I assume there was more to it than that, but the dance being the impetus for such an act was stunning. It really does happen. I looked at Kevin for clarification after the lady left and he just shook his head and started talking about something else.

Euphemisms strike me as odd. When dealing with death they seem to appear a lot. Even though you can recognize them, it’s still hard not to use them.

I washed the blueberries when I got upstairs and started eating them. I’ll eat blueberries, but usually only a few at a time. Strawberries are really the only fruit I will devour in one sitting. Not today, however. I couldn’t stop eating the blueberries. They were the best ones I’ve ever had. I finished off the whole carton saving only five for the waffle I had intended for them. I found a bag of 12 waffles for 99 cents at the Lidel store (like Aldi). I put one in the toaster to get it warm and a tad crunchy. They taste like they already have syrup on them, which is good because I couldn’t find maple syrup anywhere. I scooped out some ice cream (vanilla with raspberry ripple) to put on top and then came the last of the blueberries. It was delicious!

Erynn called because she forgot her toothbrush, so the two of them came over to get it and we ordered pizza from Papa John’s again. I received a text from Papa John’s saying that this weekend any size pizza, 3 toppings would be 10 Euro. We got three. Hawaiian, sausage red pepper onion, and fajita chicken bacon ham. We split 2 between the 4 of us and Zach and I kept the other one for lunches and dinners to come.

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