Friday, August 2, 2013

If we had blogs in 1998: A sort of homecoming

I go to Ireland for the second time, this time seeing the country rather than staying in Dublin. I used my research project as a justification for going again. It was an ugly week - the skies were gray most of the time as they are in Europe in February - so my photos didn't turn out very well. But you can get an idea of the place from them. My new scanner makes them look like Instagram photos. I guess I'm "hip" now.

As always, spelling, grammatical, and factual errors have been preserved.

22 fevrier 1998

Heading to Bruxelles on a dull gray, rainy day. However, the warmth of the weather and the rain have given birth to a lush green Ardenian landscape. I am alone in this section of a car, save for an older woman who sits across the aisle on the seat facing my direction. I'm sure she has wondered about me; I have felt her eyes wandering in my direction. It's going to be a strange week. No Andrea. No Matt. No chateau. No school work except for my story. But I'm doing that more for myself than for school. I have to see if I can do it. I've got no distractions, nobody to get me off track, and I'm hoping I'll get as much done as I'm hoping to now. I'm writing a story about an American girl who has Irish grandparents who emmigrated from Ireland because they were poor. The girl doesn't understand why they do some of the things they do, her religion, Catholicism, and she goes to Ireland to try to figure things out. Her grandmother ends up dying, and the girl has taken over her identity as an Irish American. I could set the story back some years when Irish were discriminated against in America, and say her grandparents came over from the potato famine. I wish I was going to Eire today. Tomorrow I'll be touching down in Dublin, if things go as planned.

same day, later time

In the hostel now, thinking I've killed enough time to justify going to bed now, if only the girls sharing the room would shut up. I bought a book from the English bookstore and just finished it. It was good but depressing. Now I need to get back into the reality of my situation. I'm going to Ireland tomorrow! Dublin! I can't wait. I will be leaving in a little more than 12 hours. Too bad the stuffiness of this room prohibits the air of excitement from entering my lungs. I hope that sleep can serve as a remedy for the waiting.

Bruxelles is just as horrible as the first time I was here. Ha. Like the two hours I spent there is a sufficient amount of time to judge a city. I'd never come by choice. I would now, though I'd rather spend my time in Flanders. At least the waffles are good. If I have any money left, maybe I'll grab one for the road. I've spent about 2000f, with hotel & train ticket. I guess it's not bad. I shouldn't have eaten at McDonald's. Oh well. What's done is done.

Today I arrived in Bruxelles at 1:15. I wandered all day around the Grote Markt area. This hotel isn't in the best of places, and I returned before dark. That was still about four hours of killing time. What a waste of day. I wish I had brought some homework to do. Instead, I have to buy books. It's ok - I need to read as much as possible. I'm buying a bunch of books in Dublin tomorrow - probably 3 Roddy Doyles, some Irish adolescent literature, and some Irish history books. Should last me through all the train rides throughout the week. These were for my research project on adolescent psychology.

I miss Matt & Andrea.

I find this to be interesting. There's still a lot of confusing phrasing and all, but there's a hint of a writer in there - my language has changed, I'm using descriptive words, and I've even attempted to create a setting (older woman, wandering eyes, facing me on a train.) Sure there's still the X is horrible/McDonald's kind of thing in there, but the language is more substantive than it was in the first semester. I'm even laying out a plan for my work.


Dingle, Ireland
It's everything and more I thought it would be. The green is the brightest hue of green I have ever seen. It was strange going into Dublin yesterday, where it all began. It was noticibly dirty this time around, but I still love it. More than ever. I went to Usit student travel agency, bought some books, then headed out to Hueston Station. I bought a ticket, then went on up to the Brewery Hostel and paid for my room on Friday. The Brewery Hostel was named for its proximity to the Guinness Brewery. Then I left for Tralee, changing at Mallow. I didn't get much reading done, really. I kept staring at the country side. Incredible. I still haven't found the words to describe the green. And the mountains - everywhere. Unbelievable. I no longer wonder why the Irish have turned out so many literary greats - with this kind of inspiration, anyone could write a decent piece. I hope it helps me. I have the story formed in my head. Now I need to write it down.

Irish town of Tralee
Last night I stayed in Tralee at a place with freezing water for showers. I was in the Roddy Doyle Room, funny, because I was reading Paddy Clarke at the time. (Finished it this evening, loved it.) With two french girls. Came to Dingle on the 11am bus from Tralee. Amazing. Simply amazing. I walked all day - my legs are sore. Took many pictures - words will not accurately describe. (Ate breakfast at a pub in Tralee - forgot) Ate lunch at a cafe.
Tower in Dingle
Trekked through a field of cows to get to the ruins of what looks like it was a castle tower. Walked along the beach; picked up shells - first time ever. Got to the tower, the view was better, but a couple sent out privacy vibes & I didn't see  where I wanted to see it from. Still incredible. Books I bought today. CDs in Tralee. Christy Moore - he's awesome. Went to Oceanworld in Dingle. Paid 3 pounds, but it was cool. Saw two dead eels on the beach. Took pictures.
Saw Dick Macks or something where all the famous people go. A famous pub. Christy Moore goes there. The owner of this hostel knows him, I guess. Julia Roberts went there. So did Tom Cruise. And 007 Timothy Daulton (had to add 007 - it's on his star in front.) Tom Cruise has no star. Dolly Parton does. And some other people I haven't heard of. But one I have and I forget.

The church across the street is cool. It's medival. I went inside. I would like to go to church there. Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday. I love Ireland. It's the least corrupted western cultured place. No McDonald's in Dingle. Yeah. But I saw one in Kilkenny from the train. Boo. Loving my Tropicana Pure Premium.

Dingle Harbor

Miss Matt & Andrea. Hope things are going great for them. Trying not to think about it...


Cork, Ireland
I wish that girl would stop blowing that damn whistle - it's incredibly annoying. Today, this morning, I decided to leave Dingle for Cork. I left the hostel at 8am and walked 20 minutes to town. I found a grocery that was open, bought some Tropicana Pure Premium and took my breakfast (bread & oj) to a place to eat it. A place. Then I sat at the bus stop writing my story (which isn't going smoothly) until the bus came at 10:15. By then I was freezing. I took the bus to Cork after Tralee. Scenery was incredible. I may just take a bus to Kilkenny tomorrow (after I go to Blarney & Cobh). I walked around Cork all day (well I got here and found a hostel - I think it was about 3pm when I left the hostel). (That damn flute - I'm gonna shove it down her damn throat.) Cork is a cool city, but it's a city. Dublin's better. It is home to the greatest band in the world. Two shots of happy - one shot of sad. Awesome song. It's on the If God Will Send His Angels single. Incredible. I think it may go in the top ten U2 songs. I can't wait for Andrea to hear it. They should do more songs like it. I have a feeling the next album is going to be the best ever. I thought that about Pop; until it came out. Lately I have been seeing how great it really is, then today I realized it wasn't finished. I loved this country; I just wish I wasn't alone.I'm feeling it now. But two shots of happy, one shot of sad. This song is AWESOME! I can't believe this is U2. I've got chills. It's incredible. Not as great as advertised. They have real diet coke here, not coke light. British Isles have Diet Coke, Continental Europe has Coke Light, which tastes different. Never liked it. It's great. I'm not much in the mood to write, really. I'll do it tomorrow.

Blarney Castle
It ends there. I don't talk about going to Blarney Castle and seeing the Blarney Stone. The castle isn't much.  I didn't kiss the stone because you're supposed to lay on your back and lean over a hole that goes straight to the ground to kiss it. Anyway, I've been to actual Crusader castles now, I don't need to kiss a stone from one of them.

I also didn't write about going to Kilkenny. I don't remember much about it except the castle, although I don't recall going inside and think perhaps it might have been cost-prohibitive.

This was my second trip to Ireland and the country would become part of my life for quite some time.

Kilkenny Castle

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