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Published: July 14th 2005
It's different from everywhere else I've been here. There's a ton of traffic, and yet pedestrians stlil seem to reign supreme. One of the cool little ways to tell the locals apart from the tourists is to watch the people at a crosswalk. Anyone from anywhere else in the world will press the little button and wait patiently for the green signal.
The Dubliners will just keep walking.
And the traffic is actually okay with this. No one minds, no one honks. They just stop, or swerve, whatever's convenient, and they don't honk or yell. They honk and yell at each other, but not at the pedestrians.
.. it's a suicidal country, really.
So, I haven't gone out to hear the trad here - I keep going to the plays instead. Dublin professional theater is really subsidized, so a show that would probably cost me 30 or 40 dollars back home is only 12 euro here - it's absolutely great.
I saw Waiting For Godot at the Samuel Beckett Center - which was kind of a cool little thing because this is the first time in years that they've produced it, and it's only on for
I think you can see the Dublin Spire in the background, lit up at the very top.
a couple of weeks. I really liked it, actually. That Samuel Beckett is a smart man.
Then last night I went down to the Abbey Theater to see this completely random show I've never heard of - A Cry From Heaven. The posters all had this evil looking young guy trapped in stone, and a description on the back about how the script was an adaptation of a really old Ulster (Northern Ireland) legend, involving many people and places that I can't spell or pronounce.
But I actually understood the plot, and it was fantastic, I loved it.
The costuming was great, too - it was all black with a bit of red in a very Matrix meets Lemony Snickett kind of way.
Anyway, I guess the reason I've never heard of it was because it hasn't been produced before - it's a new script. They say it might be coming to the US in a couple of years, and I really hope it does. (although I probably won't be able to afford it when it comes here.. the way Broadway is, it might almost be cheaper to get another ticket to Ireland and see it here again.)
A Cry From Heaven
(actually, just one of the posters.)
done other, actual tourist stuff, too. I took the 1916 Rebellion tour because one of my favorite books (At Swim, Two Boys) is set during the rebellion. It was really cool to walk around and see exactly where everything took place. Did a bit of the Ulysses trail (the full Ulysses walk takes 18 hours. I've gotten good at walking, but not that good. (Although I did actually take the DART train to Dun Laoghaire this morning to go check out the James Joyce Tower.)), and did the museums and took my obligatory photo-ops of the major statues.
One of the weird things about Dublin is the number of hop-on, hop-off tours there are. I can understand the guided tours, but all of the major sights are within 1 mile of O'Connell Bridge, so it really is a walking city. But there's these tourist buses that will pull up outside Trinity College, pick some people up, and then go literally only a block down the road and let some of the same people off at Grafton Street.
.. well, I guess they've paid their 20 or 30 euros, might as well get as much bus time as they can.
The shutter setting is so horribly, horribly wrong. We'll pretend that the blurring = art.
The hostel here is all right. It's actually a former recording studio for David Bowie, U2, and Sinead O'Connor, so there's paintings and posters of them absolutely covering the halls. There's free breakfast that actually counts as breakfast (I've heard at some hostels it's just white bread, one slice only please). But guess who got the room up 7 flights of stairs?
That's right. Lucky me!
(It's okay, though, I think my feet have finally gotten used to walking all day. A few flights of stairs in one direction or the other doesn't even put a dent in it..)
I found the coolest little late-night eatery when I was walking across the Ha'Penny Bridge to come back to the hostel after seeing Waiting For Godot. It's called Eddie Rocket's, and it's the Irish version of an American diner. It's the only place I've been in Dublin where there is not a tourist in sight, which in a twisted way makes the American diner the most Irish place I've been. It's cool to see the little differences in the menu, though - they have a section called "American Fries" with "(chips)" written underneath in small lettering.
off to London now.
.. literally, now. The airline express leaves every 10 minutes outside the Dublin Spire (or as the Dubliners call it, "the Why in the sky". Bit of a pointless monument.), so I think I'm going to go ahead and catch the next one.
Hope everythings going well back home. I actually don't have that much time left - only 2 and a half weeks. It will be weird being able to wake up in the morning and having more than 3 shirts to choose from.
Anyway, I have some of the Dublin pictures up on photobucket - but the connection here's pretty slow, so I'm going to wait until later to upload the more repetitive ones (I took a LOT of pictures at the 40 foot and St. Stephan's Green). See you in London!
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