So remember how I have this obsession with the Lion King? Well, I do. I know how to sing the songs in several languages. And today, that paid off.
I started out the morning eating with Kata in Annascaul with the same view from yesterday. It was significantly wetter and colder than yesterday and I wasn’t about to wait two hours for a bus, so after we said our goodbyes [ 🙁 ] I hitched a ride to Dingle holding a sign that said “Dingle, please” in Irish (which I found out later was actually misspelled).
It’s supposed to be “led o thoin” I think…
It was surprisingly easy. And not as scary as I thought it would be. The guy who picked me up was super nice and ran a local grocery store, so he was making a supply run and let me on for the ride.
Once in Dublin I met up with another couchsurfer named Ciáran (I think that’s how it’s spelled) and went to have chips and tea. The chips/fries here are actually really, really good, but the waitress kept looking at me like she hated me. Maybe because of my accent, but also maybe because I was missing something all Irish people learn to do in their infancy with regards to manners or something. Ciáran had to go back to work afterward so I headed to the Rainbow Hostel about a kilometer out of the center of town and met the most amazing people ever.
At first it was just me, a Spanish couple from Barcelona, a Canadian guy named Tom, and a German girl named Valerie. I asked the Spanish guy where the bathroom was and he was like “No inglés.”Well that’s just fine! I switched to Spanish and he and his wife looked at me like I was crazy and told me my accent was almost authentic sounding 😀 We talked for a while and then a bunch of Germans walked in – a couple, and one guy after them, and then two girls named Caterina and Helena. Suddenly my whole world became a mess of German curse words and schönken (when you lock arms in Germany with the people you’re near and swing back and forth to music with beer in your hands). Then suddenly everyone started cooking and offered me (and everyone else) really amazing food. I got a taste of German, Spanish, and Thai food.
When staying at a hostel, there’s a group mentality you have to just go with, and really is the key to making a good day for yourself and other people. You gotta offer to clean dishes if you don’t cook, and offer up whatever you’ve got for the collective good. Everything just runs smoother and by making yourself and your resources available to the group, the group’s resources become available to you.
Let me tell you guys, if you don’t speak another language, LEARN ONE. OR FOUR. The relationships you form with other people are what really matter and communication is the most important aspect of any relationship. If you can’t communicate, you can’t bond. Or at least, it becomes much more difficult. At some point during dinner I grout up the fact that I knew how to sing “Kann es wirklich liebe sein” which is the German version of “Can you feel the love tonight” (it translates to ‘Can it really be love?’ Or something like that), so me and all the Germans joined in a raucous rendition of the Lion King and then I proceeded to get a crash course in German.
I learned eichel means acorn and that it’s slang for the head of a penis, so that’s great. Also, when I go to Oktoberfest I’m supposed to tell the girls that serve beer “Fetches Madel” which is something akin to “sexy mama.” And that advice was given to me by the girls!
After becoming collectively fluent in German cursing we decided to go out on the town for a drink and some live music. We all got bundled up and headed down to the town. The skies were clear for the first time in a few days so we were all watching the sky– the view is spectacular out here. Since its the middle of nowhere, you can see everything. Several shooting stars later (a couple really bright ones actually!) we made it to the bars.
Something to know about Irish bars… Traditionally the hardware stores are also pubs, dingle is a tourist town, and there’s a decidedly non-authentic vibe from most pubs there because they cater heavily to tourists. Nonetheless the music was fantastic and plenty of people were dancing (that’s how you know they’re not Irish, because the Irish would *never* dance at a pub. Also, drunk people think they can dance like the Irish. They cannot) at the second bar we went to so it was a great time.
Small pub! First one we went to. I was called “Dick Mack’s”
Left to right: don’t know, Helena, Caterina
Me, Tom, something, something, Valerie
Helena was attacked by the drunkest person I’ve ever seen, talking about loving Germans and hating everyone else.
Me and Caterina were having a good time. At one point, an Irishman and an Australian who had been biking from Chile up through North America and flown over to Europe came in and were hitting on her sister pretty hard so we were keeping an eye on them. Actually, I couldn’t figure out if the Australian guy (John) was hitting on me or not because he was drunk and very touchy and kept talking into my ear. It didn’t help that I have a weakness for Australian accents and beards, and we started dancing in the middle of the bar all crazy-like with the Irish guy.
John on the right. Sexy Australian stare.
Having fun trying to dance.
At one point it became clear John was trying to hit too hard on Helena and the bar was about to close anyway. Everyone else had gone back by that point so Caterina, Helena and I decided to just head back and avoid further awkwardness. We walked through the streets of Dingle singing pop songs and the Lion King at the top of our lungs. They kept making fun of all the noises I make, like sighs after every sentence, which I didn’t notice until they pointed it out…
Then we saw a cow.
Both of them offered up their couch for me when I come to Germany. Instead of four days at Oktoberfest, I think I’ll do one or two days there and then head up to their couches about an hour north on the train… I got their emails. These girls are literally the most fun people I’ve ever met!
Now (Tuesday), I’ve caught a ride with Tom and Valerie to Doolin, which is only a few minutes away from the Cliffs of Moher. After I catch those, I’ll take a bus to Galway and take the six o’clock bus on Wednesday morning to Knock County West Airport for my flight to Milano, Italia, and then hitchhike to Monaco for a night before I head to Nice and begin Couchsurfing legitimately again. I can’t wait!!