Thursday, October 26, 2006

Ireland Travelogue 5

Part 4
Part 6>>

Oct. 10, 9:36 a.m.

(River Lee at night.)

I played Irish Monopoly until 2 a.m. last night. We were loud enough to annoy the guy at the desk. I was doing relatively ok then lost everything miserable near the end.

I was going to go to Blarney today, but it just seemed like too close to try and go to Blarney and be back for a shift that starts at 3 when the last bus that'll get me here on time is at 1:20 and the only other bus after that is after 3. So tomorrow it is. Again I hope for some good weather.

Random Thought #1: Saw a guy that looked a lot like Brock Samson the other day. I wanted to get his picture to share the gloriousness with the world, but I didn't think he would've appreciated that even though Brock Samson is AWESOME. Besides, how do I even explain it? "Well, there's this cartoon back in the States..."

12:47 p.m.

(Snapped on my way to the Gaol.)

(Ran into Rex here while he was on his walkies with his owner. His body shape and coloring kind of makes me think he's got some Cardigan corgi in him.)

I just got back from the Gaol. That was a loooooong walk. Well, more like longer than you think it would be. Everyone makes it sound like it's a nice little jaunt, but it's a bit more than that. I've definitely walked longer distances, but you know, if someone says it's a "scenic little walk," just take the "little" part with a grain of salt.

(An interesting shot because you see a bit of Cork City, then the rolling hills beyond it.)

(Flower I don't know that I took a picture of.)

(Looks like the above but in a different color.)

The visit was interesting. I looked at the outside architecture a lot. Though, yes, it's a jail, I liked how it looked. The lawns might be more manicured now or something than it used to be and who knows, maybe it was a bit more decrepit before being open to the public. Either way, took some photos.

(What greets you after the gatehouse.)

(Front of the Gaol.)

(I knew they'd get me sooner or later.)

(Female soon to be inmate being dragged in by lady warden. First tableau to greet you as soon as you enter.)

(The horror. Oh, the horror!)

(Notes from the past.)

(Caught these two on their break.)

("Dude, you totally need to call his bluff...what? No, never played in my whole life. Oh, you're playing pinochle? Well, I still think you should call his bluff.")

I wish they'd elaborated a bit more about how the radio station moved into the prison for a while. Maybe the story's not all that interesting ("Well...they needed some wide space and this was the only thing on the market empty and yea, that's the um, story. And I guess they, uh...moved out when something better that they could afford came up."), but now I'm all curious because they didn't say much about it. Need to research this. They did mention how they had to convert a wide door to allow equipment transfer.

(Back to the city center.) I'm havin another fry-up breakfast and I need to ask someone what the deal is with the tomato. It might be a stupid question, but I just need to find out. It's not that it tastes bad, but it's just...half a tomato. Who first thought "Oh yea, I'll throw this tomato in there while I'm at it," and how did this because a tradition? Is it added just to provide some semblance of nutrition? Is it there to balance out the color of the entire dish? Maybe there's some delicate taste balance that I don't know about. My guess is someone got lazy, didn't feel like chopping up all the ingredients for an omelette and just decided to make a regular breakfast. They weren't sure what to do with the half of a tomato they had left over from a sandwich and didn't want it to turn all mealy in the fridge and figured "Whatever, in an omlette, sitting next to the eggs, it'll all go in my stomach one way or other."

Random Thought #2: Brown sauce has a more tonkatsu sauce type of taste to it while chef's sauce is the same with a more pronounced vinegary taste.

I'm beginning to worry that I adapt a little too well to new surroundings. I've only been here a couple of days and I'm already thinking, "I could survive here on my own if I had to live here." I don't even miss New York. It's always been like that whenever I visit a place.

I guess it's incorrect to say I don't miss places. I do after I leave, but I just have no problem picking up and leaving Dodge. Even if I started missing a place, it's not anything like a debilitating homesickness, more like weird nostalgia. If I did want to go back to a place it's more because of memories tied to it than anything else.

2:45 p.m.

Finally caught up with one of those black birds that I'm not sure if its a raven or crow or whatever and took its picture. Wasn't easy though. The thing kept lookin' at me like, "What the hell, lady" and would do the should-I-fly-or-not hop if I got too close for comfort.

The English Market was a nice walk through. I got some chocolate from a chocolate shop. The cherry one was a little to hardcore cherry for me though. There was a pit present and the liqueur part of it almost had me slightly toasted. Good, but very strong taste.

(These looked so pretty sitting in the basket. Also, I'm craving soda bread right now.)

(The fountain in the English Market.)

(The different stalls usually have names over them.)

(Chocolate? Don't mind if I do.)

Oct. 11, 8:42 a.m.
I'm currently on the 224 bus headed to Blarney. I was tempted with trying to fit in going to Cobh, but I'm a little tired and it will depend on when I get back. I hope I get some photo ops of flora and fauna today. Everything's damp and it's probably not wise that I decided to wear the one pair of shoes I have that's beginning to develop a hole in its sole.

1:07 p.m.

Just got back from Blarney.

I managed to get off the wrong stop (I seem to have a thing for getting off at the wrong stop).

I got together with two girls from the Basque region who also got off the wrong stop with me and we decided to band together to find our way to Blarney Castle.

They told me they were actually college students but from time to time freelanced for a paper back home. That's what they were doing here. Since they were backpacking, they found out about the film festival and decided they'd write a story for the paper about it and were trying to pack in as many movies as they could.

They were especially interested in short films because they said it was hard to catch short films back where they were from and most of it were typical blockbuster fare. They asked how it was in the States as far as viewing short movies went. I told them you could do it, it just wasn't some mainstream thing. Maybe some niche theater or whenever they had a film festival/series (though honestly a special film series happens pretty often). They were kind of surprised by that answer.

Kissing the Blarney Stone wasn't that big of a deal for me. It's more like something you tell folks back home because you know someone's going to ask about it. I personally was more interested in seeing the Rock Close and the grounds around the castle.

(Blarney Castle. Almost feels like some ominous music should be playing for this shot.)

Lots of great photos. Glad my camera's dry and still functioning (knock on wood).

(Now, what I really came for.)

Random Thought #1: Saw a murder of crows today, though after reading some guide books I'm beginning to suspect they are rooks.

Random Thought #2: The toilets here don't flush so much as they deluge the waste away. Like it's more of a, "Just let me pound away at this until I push everything down."

Random Thought #3: There are a lot of girls with the Tara Reid look going on here. It's a whole "this is obviously not my natural hair color" blonde (or red maybe), with orange-y fake tan and old, silent movie spyglass gag style dark eyeliner all around the eyes. Lots of super short skirts too. It almost looks retro.

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Part 6>>


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