“The only thing more unthinkable than leaving was staying; the only thing more impossible than staying was leaving.” – Elizabeth Gilbert
Though the adventure was not over, leaving Galway city was a bit too heart-breaking. I was able to do so many outdoor activities there, going places where I could merge with nature…The air was so pure…I doubted Dublin had as much to offer that would make me feel so much peace.
I arrived and found my hostel faster than I thought I could. Once I went to my room, I was ready to go back to Galway. Not that the hostel in Dublin is terrible…but it is less clean than the one in Galway…less friendly…less comfortable. You can imagine my shock when I walked in the bathroom and saw a man brushing his teeth in his underwear. Ah, strangers, men and women, showering in one tiny little dirty bathroom with a sign that says, “We hope you enjoy your time in our toilets!”, one big happy family. After the initial shock, there was only humor.
I spent the first day reading EAT PRAY LOVE by Elizabeth Gilbert. The weather was gorgeous! Like the rest of Dublin, I layed on the grass, had a solo picnic and read the afternoon away at St. Stephens Green (originally medieval ground and place for public executions). I walked around Grafton Street which has been my favorite place in Dublin so far. It is filled with street performers, delicious cafes, pretty stores and cool looking buildings.
The next day I walked to St. Patrick’s Cathedral and Christ Church, which were definitely impressive. I enjoyed the Dublinia museum, which is right next to Christ Church. It explained Dublin’s history with realistic wax figures of the Vikings and re-created rooms of Medieval times, plus an entire floor dedicated to archeology in Dublin. This is a great place for both adults and children. I feel like I got a better understanding of Dublin’s and Humankind’s history. It also gave me appreciation for the comfortable lifestyle I have now. Just to give you a small idea of this: in the Medieval times, people did not really shower or had anything to brush their teeth with. Hence, they had fleece, smelled like you-know-what, and had yellow teeth that would either fall off or get pulled out if they were causing pain…The joy of living in 2013, yes sir!
I walked to Guinness Storehouse in the afternoon. I am not a huge fan of beer (I much rather drink wine or vodka), but it is definitely a cool place to visit! After learning the process of beer making, there is a tasting! I do not drink beer, but I will always drink free beer! 😉
And the best part was learning how to serve it properly; I received a diploma and all…for serving the perfect pint. Woot woot!
To conclude my perfect day in the city, I went on the Musical Pub Crawl. If you are ever in Dublin, do the Musical Pub Crawl! It is different in that the emphasis is on Irish music rather than alcohol, but you are still able to drink as much as you want. We went to 3 pubs, and the 2 musicians were funny, charismatic, and very good at their craft. I was finally able to listen to the sean nos (old style) AND…my Dublin dreams were realized…let me elaborate on that…
Irish culture is passionate about music. They are madly in love with it, which instantly makes us a perfect match! They are the only country with a musical instrument (the harp) as a National symbol. All Irish sing…maybe not all of them sing well, but they all sing. I am pretty sure that refusal to singing at a party would be a dishonor to your family and a National disgrace. So towards the end of the pub crawl the musicians asked for volunteers to sing a song acapella. This is perfectly normal in Irish culture, and when you come from another country it is a noble call to do so. They genuinely do not care about your technique or tone or whatever…just know the song, sing it and feel it; give the audience your heart.
With one drink and one shot in me, I volunteered first. May I let you know, that I was not even remotely close to being drunk enough for public humiliation. Ok, maybe humiliation is a strong word. I am a performer, but I am not a good enough singer for an acapella song. However, it was obvious that the group of about 50 tourists (most of them from the United States) were not ready to volunteer themselves. One of my friends who has done back pack travel in Ireland gave me this advice before I left the States:
do the things that you normally would not do. And so I went forth with my noble call and sang Knee Deep by Zac Brown Band. This felt like a personal achievement! I felt I had won a battle against my Ego and Self-Consciousness…Something shifted inside of me, as if from now on I am finally free to enjoy myself and life.
The musicians understand that this sort of behavior is not natural in American culture. So they appreciated the effort we made to break the boundaries. Once I was done, more hands went up, volunteering away, none of them knowing how to actually sing well (thankfully!). Volunteers sang and the whole crowd joined in, singing/wailing: “Toooniiight, we are yooouuung! So let’s set the world on fiiiiireeee,we can burn briiighteeer, than the suuuuu-uuu-uuuuun!!!!”
And so my night concluded, beaming smile, and feeling lighter…much lighter…as if that one song broke down an entire wall of self-doubt.
“Wrote a note, said, BE BACK IN A MINUTE…
Got a boat and I sailed off in it,
Don’t think anybody’s gonna miss me anyway.
Mind on a permanent vacation,
The ocean is my only medication,
Wishing my condition ain’t never gonna go away.” – Zac Brown Band