Saturday, 14th October.
The Liberties is a district in Dublin. It swarmed with street
peddlers, selling goods that looked like they had fallen off the
back of a truck. Funny how they never get broken when they fall
off that truck.
(When I was a little kid, my Mum and my aunt were talking about
something my aunt had bought on the cheap, and my aunt said that
it must have fallen off the back of a truck. I had these visions
of a truck driving along Warragul Street with stuff falling off.
Why didn't my aunt say anything to the driver?)
The streets were crammed with people in the autumn sunshine.
Children played on the footpath with their new, cheap, destructible and
soon to be short-lived toys. Every foodshop, be it a butcher,
grocer, off-licence, deli, etc, was choc-a-block with people.
There was an air of familiarity about everyone, like a soap opera
where everyone knows everyone else's business.
After the markets and street stalls of the Liberties I walked down
to St Patricks Cathedral. There was a graduation ceremony taking
place there, so I couldn't get inside. Instead I ambled through the
chruchyard, in an anti-clockwise direction as it happened. There
was a bloke walking in front of me. He disappeared around the
corner, then reappeared and said "You can't get out there."
"You're joking!" I replied. I couldn't be arsed walking the whole
way round to the entrance, so I jumped the spiky fence into the
neighbouring park. That hurt.
The Book of Kells exhibition was filled with American tourists.
But interesting despite their ignorant presence.
The choir at Christ Church rocked Big Time.
Irish girls aren't shy. They love to talk.
We went to Tram Co that night. "We": me, Niamh and Niamh's friend
Emer. Tram Co is a club in Dublin, which isn't infested with
tourists, unlike Temple Bar. As we went in the bouncer stopped me.
"Just a minute son" he said. I gave him a confused look.
(perfected in Spain).
"How old are you?" he asked.
"I'm twenty-six!" I replied with more than a hint of incredulity.
We met Caroline, Niamh's cousin, and Keira, Caroline's workmate.
Keira is Tall. Taller than me when she's wearing heels. Not as tall
as me if I were wearing heels. I wasn't. I haven't. I don't.
Anyway, Keira was complaining about finding a man the right height.
Emer, her courage fortified by copious amounts of alcohol, spies a
tall bloke standing with his back to us, taps him on the shoulder,
and says "What's your name?" Irish girls, they're not shy.
Alas, Tall Man had a girlfriend, but he came back to our little
group with his girlfriend and two of his mates. One of his mates
was a comical-looking bloke (not conical-looking) with a part in the
middle of his greasy heair, fringe flopping forward, and was wearing
a shirt that was very new - it still had the creases on the front
from being in its pack in the shop.
At the end of the night we took a taxi home (in Dublin it is
considered a Major Miracle if you can get a taxi) and the
eavesdropping taxidriver was telling us that he had "seen everything
in the back of this cab". He wouldn't elaborate, and I just hoped
that he cleaned the back seat thoroughly.