Thursday, September 3, 2009

Worst experience yet

While waiting on the bus in Kilkenny I was told to "pull the luggage back it's starting to lash". Lash, I'm assuming, is what happens when it first starts to rain and the drops collect on a ledge and then fall in heavy drops. I don't think we have a word for this in America, but there ya go. I also saw my first leprechaun! That was actually kind of bad for me to say, but it got me to thinking about how bad it would be for a "tiny person" to live in Ireland.

We caught the 9:15 bus from Kilkenny to Dublin and arrived around 11:30. Conveniently the bus dropped off just on the other side of USIT where we were headed. I grabbed a sandwich at the grocery store deli and printed off about 30 CVs in preparation for a job storming in Galway. We looked up the address for the bus pickup nonstop to Galway and were told it was located at Merrion Square. I have a 48 lb suitcase on wheels, a 23 lb duffel bag and bookbag containing various books, documents and my laptop. Traveling around with a laptop is not something you want to do. As soon as I start making some money I want to see a masseuse about all the knots and strains in my upper and lower back.

The Celts used to worship the sun. I can see why. It is a tantalizing and mystical being. One moment it is there shining in glory and the next it has receded only to be replaced by chilly precipitation.

While traveling the little over a mile distance to Merrion Square it started to pour. Not the misty sprinkle we've usually had, but pouring rain unlike I've seen in Ireland so far. Of course there was nothing much to do, we had a bus to catch so we couldn't wait it out. Once arriving in the square we evidently looked lost before we even knew it. An Irish man stopped us and asked if he could help us find where we were going. He had an umbrella for this rainy occasion, but I've noticed that the Irish are so accustomed to the rain that even in little showers many will have no umbrella out or even hood on. They just deal.

This little man was so polite and helpful, as I've found most Irish to be. He whipped out his cell phone and immediately started calling the information services to find out where "gobus" direct to Galway was to be stationed. Turns out we needed to go to Tara Street...back the direction we'd come from and a little further!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! By this point Zach and I were soaked. The luggage wasn't fairing much better. The nice little man started walking and said follow me. I was surprised to see he was going to show us the way. I assumed he would go a distance then point us in the direction. Nope...he hand delivered us to the exact point another mile later. [Thank you Lord for taking super good care of me!] It was only by an act of the LORD and maybe a little pay it forward coming back around (from me taking Vera to her plane back at JFK). You never know how much it means to someone when you take some time out for a stranger in need.

While we were on our way to the bus pick up, we passed the man's little friend who I suppose he was on his way to meet. I started talking to the friend who walked with us a bit. He asked me how I managed my own personal tour guide. I laughed and said only because he seems to be one of the nicest people I've met. The friend told me that we were expected to have nicer weather this weekend and good luck to us both before turning away from the group. In resuming conversation with the guide, he was a jolly old fellow who informed me that it had only rained twice in the last week. Once for 3 days and then again for 4 days. I laughed at his joke, but really I don't think it was a joke. Supposedly this is the rainiest August on record since 1850s something. He also said that this is that only country where it rains in between the showers. Just to give you an idea of how crazy it really is. I promise you I'm not overreacting - it's really that crazy here...sun, rain, sun, rain..., sun, storm, night.

We arrived in Galway around 5pm. Our hostel was just around the corner from the bus station. It is an eclectic sort of place. Fake stained glass windows, chili peppers, bluegrass, and Bob Marley have been blaring on the speakers here. We encountered Franklin at the entrance. A German Aussie of sorts. Hard to understand and all over the place. I had to keep reminding him what task was next for him to do in the check-in process. He was really polite though and gave us a good rate on Friday night, free lock and towel even though there was usually a charge. I was still soaked and tired, so I decided to get a shower as quickly as possible. Let's just say that the shower here sucks! You have no control over the temp and the pressure is like a trickle. A bohemian couple was using the shower together even though it was the female's room. However, being bohemian they don't shower really so I think it was more of a foot washing because they both had their clothes on. Getting a rasta wet is like getting a dirty dog wet for the first time... it smells...REALLY BAD. I finished up in the shower room - alone. Got my soaked clothing out of my suitcase and hung them up to dry before getting in bed for the night.

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