I’ll post details about my flight later because it was interesting but not as interesting as Dublin! We landed yesterday morning at ten til nine (over an hour earlier than we were supposed to due to tailwinds). Getting throug customs wasn’t bad– I had to fill out a card saying where I was going and how long I would be in Ireland, etc etc. Apparently, it’s really hard to hard to immigrate here. Since I had no idea where I was going, and I was really stressed out, the first thing I did in Ireland was evacuate my insides in the ‘gents’ room. Afterward I felt good enough to ask people for directions and found out how to get downtown. It was a mess and I was terrified the whole time, but I eventually made it to my hostel (Abigail’s hostel, right next to the river in downtown Dublin). The bus here had wifi so that helped me figure out what to do a bit. It was also less than two pounds to get here from the airport which is pretty cool since it’s a half-hour drive.
EVERYTHING is written in both Irish and English (I was told my a local that Gaelic was just called Irish here). The river is gorgeous, the people are nice, and the weather is friggin perfect. It was a bit chilly yesterday morning but it soon warmed up to about 70. I wasn’t allowed to check into the hostel until 2pm, but they let me keep my stuff in their locker room all day, so I decided to go figure out my phone situation. It was AWFUL.
So I was under the impression that my phone was unlocked and ready to get a new SIM card. Wrong. I put the SIM card in and it wouldn’t work because it said my phone was still locked. The shopkeeper recommended that I get my phone unlocked around the corner by a bootleg shop run by a small Japanese boy. He wanted 35€ for it which was way too much, and I knew that AT&T had unlocked my phone, so I figured repeating the steps of backing it up through iTunes and restoring iSight work. The only problem is that I didn’t have iTunes or a computer anywhere. Fortunately there is an ‘Internet cafe’ a block down from the hostel where you can get on a computer for not much money and do whatever. I plugged in my phone, found out iTunes didn’t work because it was missing ‘QuickTime’, installed that, still didn’t work because the software was too old, installed a new copy of iTunes, and then restored my phone and it WORKED. Took about forty minutes. By the time I got it fixed, I was about ready to give up and have the Japanese kid work on it.
Anyway, I now have a working smart phone with a bunch of texting and lots of data and whatnot. On to the fun stuff…
I was hungry so I bought a couple apples from a local supermarket and started walking. I walked *everywhere*. I walked all over downtown Dublin all the way to the residential district south of town and all the way east to the port.
I got lost and it took my three hours to figure out how to get back to my hostel, but when you’re walking through town really fast and pieces of apple are flying every which way out of your face, people leave you alone. There were street performers, beggars, beautiful buildings, seagulls everywhere (!), and friendly people I stopped to talk to about the area I was in. I stored at H&M to get a shirt that didn’t make me look like a poor tourist and then got a message from a guy in Dublin who wanted to hang out (from couchsurfing). We decided to meet up outside my hostel at six so I had time to nap and shower.
He took me out to tea (which they drink with milk here… It’s weird) and then we took another walking tour of Dublin. We also met up with my first CS host, Thiago (pronounced chiago) from Brazil and went through some parks, trinity college, went to a resaurant that is exactly like Chipotle but not as good, and the decided to go out to see the ocean.
We took a train to the east coach and caught the sunset from the train station, and then walked back all the way into downtown Dublin by walking on the beach.
By the time we got back, we decided to go out and drink some so I could have my first official Irish pub experience. Evidently, you have to say cheers every time you get a drink and before you drink it. You also can’t drink your beer until the foam is gone and it’s settled. Guinness here… Not a huge fan. But definitely better than Guinness back home. It tastes completely different! I really got into the local way of drinking whiskey – Jameson with a splash of water. Supposedly it brings out the flavor more or something, but really I just think its so you don’t explode from too much alcohol all at once.
We took turns buying rounds until about two in the morning and finally decided to call it a night after finishing at a bar where there was live Irish folk music and people were dancing Irish-ly and singing together and it was WONDERFUL.
The hostel here serves all you can eat breakfast so I’m taking advantage of that now while I write. I want to write so much more about this city but there are better things to do than write while I’m here so more later. 🙂 headed out to Thiago’s house north of Dublin’s center.