it was raining in dublin when my plane landed. typical and a rather apt welcome back. the last time i was here was march 2006. got easily checked into the hostel and ventured out to find a meteor shop and get phone service – yes, i’m mobile now.
after spending most of the day scouring websites and sending texts to people about possible housing, i finally got one response – a potentially good option with a girl in drumcondra, a neighborhood just north of the city center and south of school. we made plans to meet the following evening (today).
around 8 pm, i met up with a friend i’d met last year, aidan, at the entrance to st. stephen’s green. he had in mind to get a few drinks, despite the fact that he’s currently training for a marathon. it took me a second to figure out what “maratun” meant through his slippery dublin accent. he’s a bit of a metalhead, and so took me to his favorite metal bar, a phenomenon i did not know existed. needless to say, i felt slightly out of place in my big-buttoned cape-sweater sipping on cider. after enduring as much metal as i could stand (about 1 pint’s worth), we moved on as aidan suggested a mini-pub crawl heading from where we were in the center of the city, back towards my hostel north of the river. we stayed in each pub for 1 pint, the first stop being the international bar, scene of my very first drunken night in dublin oh so many years ago. it was a nice recollection and aidan was kind enough to indulge me in some linguistic analysis of his accent and additional teasing about the lack of irish theta (tat’s a gud man dere). in the end, we skipped the hoity-toity bars that are littering their way across dublin and stuck to “old man pubs” instead.
i was walking down talbot street this morning (it’s a big shopping street) and i started counting languages. it first set off because there were about 300 french people in the lobby of the hostel, which really is not unusual for a hostel. however, along the street, i started eavesdropping. i went for 3 blocks listening to the conversations of everyone beside or passing me. by the end of the three blocks, i had counted at least 14 different languages. portuguese, german, swahili, french, farsi, hindi, polish… not to mention several dialects of english that i could hardly understand.
i only had to meet molly (dubliner) and karine (french)once to know they were the ones i wanted to live with. their house is in the perfect neighborhood – drumcondra – halfway between city center and school. it’s all brick facade streets with crooked chimneys and multi-colored doors, and large oak trees lining black wrought iron fenced grassy knolls, plus little pubs painted shiny black or red boasting signs like O’learys, Michael’s Pub and Public House GUINNESS served here.
i move in sunday. things are working out.