Ok, in your first 3 hours here (Dublin, Ireland), you’ve learned a few things: 1. ‘grocery store’ does not seem to compute here; 2. payphones are a pain in the ass (but that goes anywhere for payphones); 3. the Republic of Ireland uses Euros, while Northern Ireland is still on the British pound. So much for that money exchange…
You got cut off from Eoin 3 times on the payphone, by he is on his way to pick you up. > 4:50 pm. First of all, Eoin does not do himself justice on his web pages. 6’3”, rather good looking, and charming. Also conveys a great deal of intelligence. You talked in the car as he drove you back to his apartment. He was tremendously polite, funny. Not only did he bring you back to the apartment, rather than to his office–he made you breakfast… diced up arugula, toast, scrambled eggs made in the microwave (something you’ve never seen done before), and some of that Irish Creamery Butter that they sell for an arm and a leg at Whole Foods.
He is trusting. Straight away, he gave you a spare key to the place, and said he had to go to work. Told you to play CDs, eat whatever, sleep if you wanted… You commented on his trusting nature, and he said obviously he’d been sizing you up as a potential serial killer from the get-go, and that you seem to be a non-threat. You did the dishes, he pulled out a bunch of maps of Dublin, and then went on his way. You opted for a nap on the inflatable mattress. Slept for 2 hours, woke up at 12:30, and went for a tour.
First stop = Bank of Ireland. Then Dublin Castle. City Hall, where you struck up a converstation with one of the security guards for about 10 minutes. Saw Christ Church, which is beautiful and enormous. Later inquired about the Viking Heritage Center. Wound up in St. Audeon’s church, which is apparently the oldest church still offering services in Dublin. Very cool. The three men who worked there roped you into a 20 minute chat, offering all kinds of advice for traveling, telling you to look out for Romanian mugging groups, gypsy types, and dirty old men in general. Hitchhiking around the city is a bad idea. Never ask for a ‘ride,’ because it means something else–but DO ask if you’re looking for attention. Beware of pick pocketers, especially around the churches. They don’t care who you are, or what you look like. They go after everyone.
You left them to reach your ultimate destination: the Guinness Storehous. Kitchy, but oh-so-worth it. Up until that point, you had only spent 71 cents while in Dublin (you managed to get your bus ride from the airport for free, as well as your breakfast, and later your dinner)… the 71 cents went toward a roll that morning and a phone call… one payphone miraculously gave you your money back. All in all, a very low-budget day. Admission was 10 euro. At the end of the tour, you are given a free pint of Guinness in the Gravity Bar, which is at the top of a tower and provide a 360 degree view of Dublin. Reminds you of the Space Needle.