I’m nearing the end of my time in Europe – for now. So it’s not without a bit of sadness, that I find myself saying goodbye to Europe, via my trip to Ireland. Is this the last cafe? The last pint? The last time a cab driver will refuse to give me a ride, because I’m only a mile from my destination? Or has Dublin put me under a spell?
The city reminds me of a mixture of Seattle and Boston. Seattle for the weather, that alternates between sputtering rain and tentative clear skies. Boston because of it’s strong Irish ties, and coming here, I feel like I am seeing people I know at every turn. Is that someone I went to high school with? She looks just like my old coworker… and so on. Until they open their mouths. Instead of Boston accent they have that thick Irish brogue, that when done well is lilting and intoxicating, or otherwise it can be gravelly or mumbley or even worse whiny. If someone has the right accent, I could fall in love – instantly. Other European accents don’t seem to have the same effect. I can attribute all kinds of good qualities to someone based on their brogue, and when my cab driver spoke, I thought he loved me too.
Clearly, you can see reason behind the name of this post. I am punch-drunk and just plain drunk. I went to the James Joyce center and watched all three videos. I read the author’s entire timeline. I bought an annotated copy of Ulysses. Yes, I thought, now, this week, was a good time to start reading what is considered the best but most difficult novel of the 20th century. Just a bit of light reading really. 250,000 words from a vocabulary of 30,000. Cake.
I watched football. Not in an ironic, look at me I’m much better than this kind of way– no I was at the edge of my seat, silently cheering on the Irish. Then I had a little conversation with myself. Christine, why do you care if the Ireland wins? Good question. Maybe it’s the Guinness.
So I’m working out some things with Dublin. I don’t want to leave Europe. I don’t want to stay either. So I’m having a final affair. Dublin is getting all my repressed affections, and I can’t help but wonder if my new attitude is rubbing off on the locals. People are starting conversations with me on the street. I’m sharing a pint with a group celebrating a birthday.
I spend an hour talking to a medical student who has 300K in student loans and smokes like a fiend. My overall impression of Dublin? Weee! But I might not be the most reliable source.
(Note to my husband: any mentions of “love” or “affair” are purely fictional in nature and don’t mean for a second that I seriously thought of leaving you for the cab driver. That would be absurd. No one does that.)