Okay this is gonna be a long one because it covers the last twenty four hours and I had a lot to say. I wrote it all in my journal in present tense, so it’s all going to be posted in present tense because my brain isn’t functioning well enough to convert it. If I make a million typos, it’s because for some damn reason their keyboards are different than ours!
Mar 24 500 pm
I’d forgotten how much I love flying. I’ve taken many planes to several destinations in my 24 years of life, but still every time I’m awed by the things the human race has accomplished. When I get on a plane, I feel like a 6 year old. My flight to Philly pulled from the gate and we posted up in a side lane because a Southwest plane (a BIG ONE!) was landing on the runway. I watched out my window as it coasted in steady on the wind and touched down right where I could see perfectly every second of the landing. It was amazing, I’d never seen it so close up before.
Of course I love take off. The sound as the engine idles high and the rumbly feel of the pavement as you go faster and faster. Then suddenly the rumbly sound disappears and for just a moment, you feel weightless. Each time I can’t help but think that’s how a bird feels, and I stare out the window watching the earth drop away, proud of my species for the things we’ve done, like discovering flight.
Isn’t it cool to watch the earth fade in the distance below you? I love the patchwork quality of the land, all greens, yellows, browns, and tans, forming the quilt of mother nature. I love how suburban cookie cutter neighborhoods look like patches of stitches on the land, roads and driveways branching out like badly sewn wounds. Then there’s the clouds, whose sheer size you can’t even begin to imagine when on land, astonish a person when you’re flying through them and above them. At one point we hit a clear spot with flat, white clouds stretching for miles above us and below us. We were sandwiched between, and the flat expanse of cloud beneath was passing so fast. The fluff seemed to undulate, the way water ripples in a strong breeze.
And the water! The river snaking through the land as if drawn on by the hand of the goddess. Tributaries bleed from various points, forming lakes or small bodies, of just coming to an end. Somewhere between Louisville and Philly there was a clear space in the sky. The sky itself was a beautiful deep blue, the kind of blue you only see in the springtime after heavy rains. Below us on the land was a huge body of water. That surreal blue reflected perfectly on the smooth surface of the lake and it felt like I was looking into an alternate dimension, upside down in the water. One lone speedboat was racing across, and we were so high up, had I not known any better, I wouldn’t have known what was making the white streak in the water. To watch that boat in the blue of the sky, it felt like I was watching an airplane leave it’s trail of white across the heavens.
Looking out the port hole like window of a plane is a wonder. The cars are toy-like, putt putting down the distant roads and swimming pools look like little turquoise marbles thrown across the ground. The world, while already a fantastic and magickal place, becomes just that much cooler.
It is now 611 pm, I’ve just eaten McDonald’s in Philly’s airport, surrounded by people speaking ten different languages and flights leaving for London and Rome. I’ve got a thirty minute walk back to the gate I’m leaving from in just a few short hours (this airport is monstrous) and I’m trying to digest before doing it. I miss Andrew, we haven’t stopped texting since we said goodbye at Standiford Field five hours ago (except for when I was on the plane). I’m Ireland bound in three hours…
Mar 25 approx 1130 pm
Flying at night is kinda trippy. I’ve just recently lost sight of any lights down below; now to pure black. I imagine we’re officially crossing the Atlantic. I stare and stare but I can’t see anything but the tip of the wing outside my window, small light blinking forlornly in the darkness. In theory, we’re moving. The way it looks, we’re sitting still in a puddle of murky blackness.
Of course I can’t sleep. I have a hard time trying to sleep in cars, much less in a plane. So, I’m wiling away the time by straining to see something in the darkness.
We’ve just watched The Mummy:Tomb of the Dragon Emperor. I’ve made friends with the guy sitting next to me–Eamon, an Irish musician who plays guitar with a band of Irish and Philly guys. I could pull out my book and read, but I just don’t feel like it.
I hope the sun rises soon. I hate that I’m flying over the ocean and I can’t see it, plus I really want to see Ireland when we come upon it.
Mar 25 908 am
I knew I was coming to Ireland (obviously) but it still blew me away how very Irish everything is! I’m surrounded by Irish brogues, the cars look different, the bathrooms are strange–even the toilet flushes weird! It’s painstakingly obvious that I’m in another country.
The rest of the flight went really well. I watched the sun rise, but never did see the damn ocean until we cleared the clouds and landed at Dublin International. The Irish Sea is a beautiful green that could rival any fancy emerald stone. It’s surface is in constant turmoil, a raging whirlpool of eddies and white caps. From the air, it was quite a sight to behold.
At one point before we cleared the cloud cover, the plane’s shadow was in sharp relief on the huge fluffy what I’ve deemed ~Irish~ clouds. Around it was a perfect halo of rainbow. I took it as a very good sign.
Passport Control was a pain in the ass, it was just one big massive clusterfuck. I swear the garda who checked me in was trying to make me feel guilty, when I have nothing to be guilty about! Now I’m on a Dublin bus, getting carted to the city center so I can find some breakfast!
Mar 25 approx 230 pm
There are many beautiful homes right near the airport. Traffic was hellacious while on the bus, so I had plenty of time to enjoy them. They were normal house sized, but all connected together like patio homes. Each one had green plants or bright flowers in the windows or perfectly groomed Ivy creeping up the walls and fun colors. Not surprisingly, many home owners follow the old pagan tradition of painting their door bright blue, symbolizing peace and welcome. Bet those crazy irish catholics don’t realize they’re following a ~heathen~ practice. Most homes and buildings in Dublin are made of brick, giving even the most modern of apartments an old world, georgian feel. There are, of course, bad parts of town, just like every where else on earth. There’s grafitti all over, and it looks just like the graffiti all over the city of Louisville, just most likely with an irish theme rather than some stupid stuff like the past few times (like IRA shit). Oh, and being on the left side of the road is just WRONG. Freaks me out.
There are schoolchildren on every street corner. They are very Hogwarts-esque in their little uniforms: long skirts and knee highsocks for the girls, slacks and sweater vests with ties for the boys. And they all just look Irish. Trust me, until wandering these streets, I woulda laughed if I’d been told this–but the Irish look Irish!
As soon as I got off the bus, I was lost. Luckily I found a garda who pointed me in the right direction. I stopped for breakfast at McDonalds where I ordered a sausage, egg, and cheese biscuit and coffee. Apparently they dont have biscuits, so I ended up with a McMuffin. A coffee rung into the computer is an ~American~ i.e. Americans are the weirdos who drink regular coffee. I got a kick out of seeing firsthand something I’d only ever heard, so I kept the receipt, lol. Then, i discover that Ireland McDonalds have BENDY straws! We Americans are getting jipped man! I almost took one as a souvenir, but then I convinced myself maybe that’d be a little weird.
Coke tastes strange here. I can’t put my finger on just what is off about it. The little cafe I’m in had no ice, so it’s lukewarm at best. Ugh.
I managed a bout of sightseeing today. I checked into my hostel which is a really neat place, with exactly the kind of atmosphere I expected. ChristChurch cathedral was pretty, but not as grand as I thought it would be. St Patricks cathedral was big and beautiful, and the little park beside it was peaceful. City Hall is small and wants to be like the Capitol building in DC, lol. I’ve taken some decent pictures as well.
Once I finish my non-iced coca-cola, I’m hitting Dublin Castle.
Mar 25 approx 400 pm
I’m exhausted. My feet are killing me and it feels like they’re covered in blisters. My lower back and the space between my shoulder blades are both areas of tense knots. I’m ready to get back to my hostel, blog all my journal stuff and go to bed. Got an early morning tomorrow so I can hit all the Dublin Pass sights before my pass expires.
Dublin Castle was really very pretty but it was more ‘palace’ then ‘castle’. As nice as palaces are (and I do enjoy the guided tours with history and the old furniture) palaces just aren’t as cool as castles. Castles should be all stone walls, stone floors, hanging tapestries, doom and gloom and damp…you’re typical story book castle. We did get to see some excavated ruins of the original medieval castle (destroyed by numerous fires). Then I perused the ancient book and text collection at the Chester Beatty Library Museum. It was so neat, but I think I was just too tired to fully enjoy it.
It blows me away how many beautiful girls are here in Dublin. And not only are they attractive with kickass Irish brogues, but they’re all unique. They do their own thing. There are a lot of fashion minded girls with bright colored hair and facial piercings. Facial piercings are the thing in Dublin, every other guy or girl has at least one.
It’s not hard to get around here at all! All the streets are connected and the area is easy to get familiar with. Right now I’m eating in a little diner just a block down the road from my hostel, which is good considering I don’t think I can last much longer.
All in all, it was a good first day.
Now, it’s 515 pm, I’m wrapping this up, going to brush my teeth, and crawl into bed to sleep for at least twelve hours if not more, damn jet lag. Hope you enjoyed my account of my first day! Andrew, I miss you gorgeous, hope you’re thinking about me. :)