Sunday, October 22, 2006

Ireland Travelogue 4

Part 3
Part 5>>

Oct. 8, 10:01 a.m.

(A view of the River Lee from St. Patrick's Bridge.)

I'm having myself a breakfast of bacon, eggs, sausage, grilled tomato and baked beans. There are obviously several places around the city that serve this in some way or form and I plan on visiting them...because I surely don't see myself preparing this or getting it anywhere back home.

11:13 a.m.

Ack, so it's started raining. Some would say sarcastically, "Raining? In Cork? In October? No way!". Not terribly mind you but enough moisture that continued exposure would mean becoming unpleasantly damp.

Whoever works at the hostel must really love RHCP....they've had it on rotation since last night it seems like.

Anyhow, I don't know how sightseeing will go today. I could walk around without an umbrella, but it would mean no pictures. I think I'll wait it out. It's a shame since today's the last full free day I have.

Oct. 9, 11:30 a.m.

Yesterday ended up not being a total loss. I intended to walk to UCC, and ended up stopping by volunteer HQ. I was instructed by volunteer wrangler Kieran to head over to the Opera House and it seemed like they were a couple of people short. I got to see "Death of a President." I had heard about it and was worried it would be a bit hokey based on the premise, but it was well-made. But I kind of thought the effects where people were inserted into the footage wasn't as smooth as it could've been.

I have about an hour and a half until I need to be at the Opera House again so I think I'm going to try and pop into the Crawford Art Museum.

Right now I'm at Kafka's about to have a breakfast sambo (I guess it's a variant of "sammich"). There's another restaurant down the block called "Idaho's." I don't know if they serve a lot of potatoes there or something. But that'd be wrong. The house coffee in this place is fantastic and I like the bread, it reminds me of bread back in Korea. I got to go up to St. Ann's Shandon today. Didn't ring the bell, but maybe I'll go back to do that. I had time to kill before the Butter Museum and was more interested in figuring out what the Firkin Crane and the Shandon Crafts Center were.

(St. Ann's Shandon)

(Firkin Crane and Shandon Crafts Center directly across from the Shandon. The Butter Museum is tucked behind and in between the two of these buildings.)

I kind of figured out that the Firkin Crane is an arts/dance center, but the crafts center threw me off. Did they have people come in to make stuff? Anyhow, the door was open so I just ambled in. I figured if they didn't want people just wandering in, they'd do a better job of keeping it closed off. Besides, there was a cafe for crying out loud.

I ended up running into Mr. Martin F. Maker and repairer of all sort of string instruments such as violins, cellos, guitars even bouzoukis.

(Where the master works.)

(A cello in its infancy.)

(Violins in various stages of undress. Pardon me, ladies.)

(Other tools of the trade.)

(I really love this picture of the workspace. I don't know, I just like how busy it is.)

(Ladies in waiting.)

He didn't mind me invading his workspace, taking pictures and asking him a million inane questions about his work. I could't help it, I was just fascinated by the whole thing.

The Butter Museum...was a museum about butter. I mean it's a stop for sure if you want to learn about this and that, but yes, it's about butter just as the name says.

9:07 p.m.
"There's only two kinds. Barry's or Lyon's."

Had some damn fine fries ("CHIPS!" as I was reminded by them, more on the "them" later on).

I did manage to go to the Crawford Municipal Art Museum. They had a lot of plaster models of statues that are elsewhere as well as other original pieces.

(The lighting in this room made for some intriguing shots.)

(Laocoon and his sons.)

(I really liked these examples of architectural flourishes.)

(An impressive monument, but I like the detail on the base of this monument pictured below.)

(Interesting lighting on the bust of Michael Collins. Also, this thing is HUGE.)

(The Drunken Faun, by John Hogan.)

Getting to see the work of Harry Clarke was the best though.

The Clarke room is on the second floor and there were several illustrative examples as well as what looked like drafts for stained glass windows. There was also a section of stained glass in that room.

I was almost late for my shift at the Opera House (which is right next door), because I wanted a picture of all of his work.

No flash photos are OK, or so I was told. I tried to grab a lot of pictures of Mr. Clarke's works but they didn't come out too well. It was just tricky in general navigating around the lighting for things behind glass or fighting against the sheen of oil works.

I have another shift at the Opera House...maybe I'll go back there and try to photograph them again.

I just realized I still have seven more days here. That was longer than I thought I had, then again I realize that's not that many days left either considering my schedule here.

Some chick at the hostel here hooked me up with her international calling thingamabob because she's leaving. Speaking of the hostel, the three Italian girls staying in the room with me just left this morning making it the second changeover in two days. They were nice girls too, college students from Perugia. We managed to somehow communicate.

It's weird because people having been telling me how hostels are a great way to meet people. And while that's true, I usually leave early in the morning then come back a little on the late side and for the most part out all day so I haven't really been sticking around the hostel too much (and probably a good thing). Also, most of the people seem to be backpackers stopping by for a day or two before grabbing the bus elsewhere. So yea, I haven't really had a chance to sit down and chat people up, but I seem to be getting to know people from volunteering, so that's still great.

Random Thoughts: Because I keep remembering that I forget to write certain things down.

1. People here say "cool." That isn't weird or anything but they do say it and pronounce the "oo" really hardcore "oooo." Like, um, when a cow says "moo." Not that I mean they sound like cows, but that's just the closest sound I could think of. So the double O's are drawn out so not a short "cool" but more like a "coooo-ehl." I notice weird things.

2. I think "Garda" is a cool word for police. I personally have an affinity for "Popo" (5-0 is not bad if need be). In fact, I think it should be introduced to American slang by being featured in rap songs since slang in rap gets picked up by everybody eventually. Even your Bubbe in Boca calls her jewels "bling" nowadays.

3. Everyone keeps commenting on how I have an Irish last name and how maybe we're related. Ok, maybe...maaaaaaaaaayybe, but it would be very barely related considering my background. On one hand you have pure hermetic Asian group of people so no contributions of any Irishness from that side of the family. On the other hand, supposedly I had an Irish great grandfather somewhere on my dad's side. Ok, so either a)some Irish pioneer had a thing for black women and boinked one of my great grandmothers but then there's also possibility b) where a slave ancestor of mine took his slave master's name when he was freed.

Today's shift at the Opera House included "Lila Says" and "Rocket Post."

"Lila Says" depressed me because Chimo and Lila seemed to really love each other and just how things didn't work out was heart breaking. Obviously, they had a connection. Like Lila said (ha), Chimo was different and the life he had been living wasn't for him and she saw that, on the other hand Chimo accepted her for what she was even if he didn't see past her whole facade of being worldly at the time. He just liked her and didn't care about anything else. And the fact they couldn't be together with the person that got them made me feel sad.

"Rocket Post" was odd because it was a cute movie. A little too much for me, but the last 10 minutes of the film took such a random turn in tone that I'm still trying to recover from my "What the hell?" reaction.

I met up with fellow volunteer Sarah who I had chatted with at a previous shift and she was positively nice enough to volunteer to give me a quick tour of the UCC campus since she was headed that way.

We ended up meeting with some of her friends who showed me the Ogham Stones. They also told me all sorts of UCC lore such as where to not step and why...thankfully I don't go there and it's been a little over a year since I've graduated so no worries about me stepping anywhere, I think.

(Scenes from UCC, which is a gorgeous campus.)

Somehow the evening concluded with me at Sarah's friend's house eating chips from Lennox's and watching "Coronation St.," which is quite possibily the least trashiest soap I have ever seen. Then again this was based on one episode.

We were having a regular cultural exchange when one of the housemates Oisin mentioned he would be making tea to which I was pointedly asked if I'd had proper tea. I wasn't sure how to answer. I'd had plenty of tea in my life, yes, but I wasn't sure what was proper. I was trying to figure out what kind of tea they meant by that and was told, "There's only two kinds. Barry's or Lyon's."

I was also trying to figure out how to use "grand" (which I find has now crept into my lexicon...). When asked if the tea was any good I answered, "It's grand."

Oisin sniffed in mock indignation, "It isn't JUST 'grand,' it's fantastic!"

Me: "...OK, now I'm just confused, I thought I had it."

As for the chips? Delicious. They're like fucking deep fried mashed potatoes with a crispy outside that just bursts into a buttery heaven in your mouth.

Other topics discussed in no particular order: accents, cars, commercials, favorite movies and "Braveheart."

Oh, Random Thought #4:...shit, lost it.

Before leaving, I was asked how the chips were. Without thinking I answered, "Oh yea, those fries were ridiculously good."

The group cried out in horror, "CHIPS! CHIPS!!"

Me in a panic answered, "Crap! YES, CHIPS!"

I realized my daytime shifts means I need to figure out carefully how to squeeze in a trip to Blarney.

OH yea! Random thought #4: I can't get used to the fact that the @ is where the double quotes are and vice versa on the keyboard.

Part 3
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