Ireland Report #3

There’s not a huge amount to report since the last one, so I’d rather not get your hopes up. Also, this is the last time I’ll have regular access to a computer for a couple of weeks. We leave Trinity tomorrow for parts less known – perhaps I’ll be able to sneak off for twenty minutes at an internet cafe in Galway. 🙂

I spent Sunday lounging about and exploring my surroundings – walked away from Grafton Street with a slightly lighter wallet and a new dressy outfit that I can wear while slinking about the oh-so-formal happenings in Davis. Right.

Since a large group left early from class on Friday in order to explore exotic locales like Belfast and Paris, Seamus decided it would be in his own best interests to postpone Monday’s class until 4 PM. I slept in and caught up on all my class readings. Ha. The Belfast group ended up sneaking back onto Trinity grounds late Sunday night, bearing dark circles under their eyes and many tales of the great battle of the beers. I still haven’t gotten the full set of details, but apparently Pat drank his way to honor and unconsciousness after braving Falls and Shankill Roads with the gang. Meanwhile Karen and Blond Joe (as opposed to long-haired Joe) had their nice romantic getaway in Paris, where they couldn’t read the metro signs and learned quickly not to assume that anything in a restaurant is served free of charge.

Meanwhile, I had a lovely relaxing weekend, the first in over a month. At least, until our hot water stopped working around mid-day Monday. I’m one of those that depends on my daily shower every morning. Grrrrrrr. Oh well, at least I didn’t discover the issue until Tuesday, after our night at Riverdance.

Right, class on Monday. Um, it was essentially a 90-minute monologue on the life and poetry of Mr. W. B. Yeats, delivered by a man who doesn’t particularly enjoy his poetry. Many were the remarks on the “cuteness” of his ‘Celtic Twilight’ and the “overly sentimental mysticism’ of his other works. Yay.

We were glad to get away, but seeing Riverdance for the second time immediately afterward was a bit clouded by skepticism. All’s well, though – I paid more attention to the rhythms and harmonies than I had previously, and managed to ignore most of the glittery frills. It helped that Michael Flatley’s successor (wisely) kept his shirt on. Celebrated post-show with brownies and fries at the wannabe-American Eddie Rocket’s Diner.

Tuesday we did a whirlwind tour of (in this order)
– the National Library, where we spent plenty of time in the Yeats exhibit. Alas, the recorded readings of poetry were far too loud, and prevented half of us from hearing our guide. Fun stuff on his womanising, though… and none of us agree that Maud Gonne was the most beautiful woman alive. Sorry, sir. Also left out of the tour was Seamus’ rather apocryphal tale of Yeats’ vasectomy at the age of approximately 65 in order to, eh, increase his vigor. Apparently it was successful, and he turned into quite the playboy on the shores of southern France. Hmmm…
– the National Museum, wherein we oohed and ahhed and generally gawked at bog-preserved canoes and bodies, recreated mini-Newgranges, gold torcs, shiny things, and old things. Also watched a brief feature on bogs: their history and ecology.
– the (National, I’m sure) Natural History Museum: a very very rapid-fire overview of Ireland’s birds. Everything from finches and ravens and shrikes to grebes and sanderlings and herons. While this is one of the most fascinating parts of the trip, at least to me, everyone else’s obvious boredom more or less convinced Seamus to end things a bit early.
– Trinity College. With a very uppah-clahss phil-oh-sophy shtewdent, who had been studying on these hallowed grounds for over twenty yeahs on his very impoooohtant graduate work. Seamus warned us ahead of time, and had the boys prepare tough questions such as “so, why didn’t James Joyce study here?” and “wouldn’t Trinity be much more famous if he’d written Ulysses here?” and “why did Beckett get depressed and stuff? Is that a Protestant thing?” … yeah, our noble guide answered pretty well, but I was more amused by his general snobbish sarcasm. He had a few good one-liners, I’ve got them written down back in my room but I’m saving them for Mr. Bunce. Then another trip through the Kells exhibit, the Old Library, and the gift shop.

Today’s packing day. I’ve decided that I hate the euro, most particularly the current exchange rate and bank insistence that I pay extra for the privilege of purchasing outside US boundaries. Uuuurgh. Drives me insane. Also, it’s very snooty-American of me, but I like having my $1 and $2 in bills… I think in bills, so it’s hard to remember that I have an extra €10 in coins.

I’m going to be glad when we get out of Dublin. It’s full of sights and sites and sounds – especially the street musicians on Grafton Street! – but it’s an expensive city. Trinity especially is a dangerous location – all the shops immediately around it are pretty upscale, so we end up paying extra for the convenience of not having to walk as far… I understand why that happens, economically speaking, but it’s annoying when I’m on a student budget. We’ll see how I feel after two weeks of bus travelling. 😀

Yep, we’re moving on at the perfect point. I’m excited about seeing other towns – I guess I’m a village girl at heart.

Also – I want to stay somewhat caught up on life back in the States, so send me emails. I won’t respond right away, but I’d love to read them when I do manage to find another internet cafe…

~ by jackelopette on August 23, 2006.

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