So, what’s life like for a tourist who’s not really a tourist but is not exactly a resident either? I’m a vacationing resident–a resvaCAdent! Which means that I’m living in a house but it’s not my house, I don’t have a car so I can’t go far, I rely on the kindness of strangers to get me where I’m going, and I can’t get a job because I’m only temporary: as soon as I figure it out, I’m outta here and on my way to sunnier shores!
In the meantime, I wake up in the afternoon (hey, so would you if you stayed up til 3 am watching Idol LIVE on ustv.com) and make coffee. Then I get on the computer and check EVERYthing: my two email accounts; facebook, of course; pinterest; and my blog site. Then I search planes and trains and automobiles, looking for a way to get to my next destination. If I’m sick, as I was yesterday (a cold, not the flu, thank goodness), I will stay right here next to the fire and watch old episodes of Scrubs, Frasier, Cheers…they do love their old American shows over here!
That fire has to be on whenever I’m here because it is really cold in this house and there’s no thermostat to raise; the heat’s either on or off! I keep mentioning that having all the wet laundry hanging on top of all the radiators (they don’t like to use their electric dryers over here because it’s so expensive) just might be killing the heat, but to no avail. Sigh.
Anyway, if I go out, which I try to do every day, I have to catch a bus into city centre Dublin, which has been a hit or miss with me these past two weeks; the bus system is complicated and annoying and I never seem to get let off at the same stop even when the drivers SAY they will go there. The other day, the driver, as usual, said he would “give me a shout” when we got to my stop. I said, “they always say that, but they never do” to which he replied: “well, I may give you a shout then!” They’re funny the Irish, I’ll give ’em that!
The buses are pretty nice though and there’s always a seat; the younger riders go upstairs (they’re all double deckers) but I’ve taken to riding in the handicapped seat so I can see out the front and try to recognize where I am! In a way, I AM handicapped around here 😉
When I get into the city centre, I immediately find more coffee and the other day I broke down and went to Starbucks after 17 days of no Starbucks. I follow a blogger who writes about her daily fix and mentioned the new Vanilla Spice Latte so I had to try it. Good, not great, I’m going back to Costa!
If I’m not scheduled to go anywhere, I’ll walk around and not shop, which is to say I’ll look, but as my suitcase was overloaded when I got here, I don’t have any room for anything else! The other night I found myself in front of the main branch of The Bank of Ireland. Now, these guys are one of the reasons the country’s in a recession, and look at the building:
I mean, really. Apparently, this building used to be the seat of the House of Lords and the government has tried to get it back to no avail. Sounds familiar, banks–and insurance companies–being somehow in charge: what is AIG thinking anyway? Talk about biting the hand that saved your ass.
The funny thing about city centre is that although there are throngs of people walking these cobblestoned streets, the stores are pretty much closed up by 6 pm. I guess everyone, even shop owners, got to get to the pub! Walking into one pub the other night, the bartender informed me that they don’t serve food after 5 pm. Noting my surprise, he said ” we tend to eat in the day and drink at night.” Then he sent me across the way to Davy Byrnes, where they serve food til “half nine.” There, while listening to the BeeGees sing “Stayin’ Alive,” I overheard this joke:
A man asks a woman “Have you got any Irish in you?” She says “No,” he says “Want some?” and the guy in the purple sweater did a little John Travolta move and everyone knows Gangnam style, which is more than sad and I miss my son and wish I was home, except not really. ‘Tis a strange thing to be a broad abroad sometimes.