This IS Ireland, right?
Yesterday, I attended my first New and Not So New in Dublin meetup event. I finally met, in person, the beautiful Silvia from Italy, whom I had been facebooking with from America, and the lovely Spanish Susie (self-titled):
This huge meetup group (which, at more than 5,000 members, is the largest in Ireland) is run by the Irish Jeff and the Italian Pasquale. I also met Katherine, who is Irish; Stephan from Montreal, Canada; Juta from somewhere like Latvia (I can’t remember them all) and a guy from India whose name I never really heard!
It was the International House of Pancakes, except we had awesome coffees at my new favorite coffee place, Costas:
I think this building, 1 Dawson Street, used to be a bank. It is as beautiful inside as out, and the lower floor was filled to the brim with our group. I struggled within my little foursome to be fully understood as they are all three working to improve their English. It is amazing to me that they are doing that by talking and listening to us: can you imagine learning Italian, say, through conversation? But they are doing it and well.
And it turns out that Silvia, who came to Dublin from Naples, and I (who came from New Joisey, lol) now live right around the corner from each other in a village called Rathgar, a 40 minute walk to city centre Dublin.
Small world, isn’t it? Funny, isn’t it? Small…and funny…and fine. (You get kudos if you know where that comes from!)
bought me a phone b/c he said I could use it now then he could give it to his sister b/c she needs a new one (double nice, right?). I got him to go to dinner with me in the hopes of treating him for all the time he spent helping me and for the phone…and he wouldn’t let me pick up the check (triple nice). Ladies–he’s 35, super smart and available for a limited time, I’m sure! This one’s a catch!
(OMG now I’m running a dating site. Oh well.)
I met AA2 at this statue on O’Connell Street, in the Temple Bar area:
Further down on this huge statue, though, is my favorite part:
Guy on the left: “Listen, I’m obviously a king and you have to go down lower on the statue!”
Guy on the right: “Make me.”
They are big on their statues over here, like Philly. And the architecture of their buildings–built when England took over, AA2 tells me–is inspiring. And yet:
Burger King. And McDonald’s down a little further. They also have Subways, Pizza Huts and TGI Fridays. Not the best of American cuisine, I tell them. We know, they say. And yet, they are everywhere. For some reason, it makes me sad to see these fast food places, blemishes on the scenery if you ask me. And, of course, there are these:
Those who know me well may be surprised to learn that I have not stepped foot in a Starbucks since I’ve been here. The cafe mochas and cappucinos found in any cafe or restaurant are better! And because my hostess with the mostess has an Italian espresso machine, I make one every morning 😉