HERE WE GO CLOSING UP WEEK ONE HOKAYYYY YEUHHH. I cannot believe that this time a week ago I was just a wee lass landing in the land of Oscar Wilde and Winterfell.
Everything has been splendid, a whirlwind of whiskey and Guinness and confetti.
Although a seemingly minute detail, I would like to let it be known that I HAD A WINDOW SEAT on the trip over. (My previous flight to Europe came with relentless vomiting after combining a sleeping pill and eating airline food so, really, even a paddleboat across the Atlantic would’ve been an improvement.)
Luck of the Irish? Maybe. But the miracle continued when NO ONE sat next to me. It wasn’t until I was on the plane that I realized I was among the last few people to have boarded, meaning the empty seat next to me would remain empty for the next 6.75 hours and I could spread out like a starfish making its home on the ocean floor. I freakin moved into that nook. Seats 27 G & K were my home and the plane, my world. By the time the captain told us we were beginning our final descent, I was truly shocked. I didn’t even get to open my adult coloring book! (Thanks, Katie G.)
ANYHOO, anyone that knows me, knows I live and love lists. So, in the past seven days, I have...
- Had my first hostel experience, met some fab people.
- Ate at a restaurant by myself and didn't die of awkwardness! (This is something I've always wanted to do).
- Moved into an apartment in Drumcondra (north Dublin).
- Seen Temple Bar (the bar).
- Gone out in Temple Bar (the neighborhood).
- Got an Irish phone number—download WhatsApp if you don't have iMessaging.
- Visited St. Patrick’s Cathedral (among others).
- Enjoyed live music at Irish bars, a pastime that feels much more like that—an engaging activity, rather than lazy background music.
- Had an Irish New Year’s Eve. The bars didn’t close til 4 but they played Spice Girls so I was all in.
- Consequently, had an Irish hangover.
- Strolled the National Irish Botanic Gardens.
- After 6 painstaking hours, successfully registered at the Garda Bureau of Immigration. (I am officially allowed to work here).
My neighborhood (as well as everyone I've met) are all so friendly. There’s a huge park by me, the grocery store is a three minute walk away, and I can get ‘downtown’ in about 15 minutes via bus, 30 minutes walking.
Mostly, I’ve just been walking. Chicago often felt like an unwalkable city either because of the temperature or the unreliability of the CTA, so it’s actually been quite nice to walk from cafe to cafe, being in no rush whatsoever, and admire the way the light hits the brick buildings of Dublin. (That may be the most writer-ly thing I’ve ever said).
I’m currently reading Cheryl Strayed’s Brave Enough and looked long and hard at this:
Travel by foot. There is so much you can't identify at top speed.
So. Working on that job thing and in the meantime, I’ll be walking.