And Then There Were Four

I arrived in Dublin, Ireland ahead of schedule after a whirlwind of a week. That whirlwind involved four final projects, two finals, very little sleep, two showers, and a large portion of stress. I unwound slightly by watching Slumdog Millionaire on the Aer Lingus (the Irish airline) portion of the trip. The flight also included an execution-style last meal. Which I enjoyed thoroughly. Saturday morning I arrived in Dublin, painfully aware that I could not remember if I had told the guys when my flight would arrive and so the adventure begins. I watched random people in the airport for an hour before I spotted David. Before that a customs official had warily eyed me and my haggard expression and questioned how long I would be touring the European Union. “Three months.” Crazy Americans.

The guys had guessed my arrival time and pretty accurately at that. We left the airport in our gleaming black Passat station wagon while they filled me in on what my academic endeavors had caused me to miss we drove to Phibsboro Street to research hostels in Dublin and continued on foot into the city at the top of O’Connell Street I received my first taste of real Irish culture as a mob of young men dressed in red accosted another in blue, jeering lustily and generously dousing him in alcohol. I had seen an usually large number of those red jerseys at the airport that morning. I learned through a newspaper that the Munster rugby team, based in Limerick, were in Dublin for the semifinals in the European Rugby League. Dublin’s own Lienster team sported the same blue as the abused fan on O’Connell Street. We continued to explore the city, including Trinity College, dating back to the 16th century. At St. Stephen’s Green I became separated from the guys when preoccupied with photographing a line of horse-drawn carriages. Then we ate Fauxtella on crackers in the park laughing about Rosedale times of yore.

Around 5:30 and the beginning of the rugby match, we walked toward Croke Park through throngs of red and blue supporters, many of whom were well intoxicated in the Irish tradition. We enjoyed the stadium’s cheers and roars as we circled the game just under way. Along our route, we each received a banana from a man clad in a monkey suit. Naturally. Back in the city center on Temple Bar Street, we found a pub and tried to blend in with the throngs watching the match on several flat-screen tellys. To complete the experience of watching rugby in an Irish pub we shared half a pint of Guinness David, Shenk and I decided we weren’t quite ready for Irish citizenship, finding the brew slightly less than pleasurable. More pleasurable was the rugby match where the home team dominated in an upset, winning 25 to 6. Munster fans were much quieter as we left the pub finding our car in its parking garage we drove out to Swords to the game reserve where the guys had slept the night before.

With Ziegler’s burner we cooked delicious pea soup with ham, adding extra ham and carrots. Needing more space in the car as it began to rain, we stowed our suitcases and miscellaneous necessities on the roof and draped it with the two tarps. We fell asleep, Shenk and I in the back and David and Ziegler in the front, praying that the stakes would hold and that our few belongings would remain dry. To be continued…

Matt

2 Responses to “And Then There Were Four”

  1. Abby Greenfield says:

    i love the pictures of Ireland that you guys put up! Great job! Have tons of fun!

  2. Allyson Randall says:

    St. Patrick’s Day in England is not a day to dress in green (boy, did I feel stupid), but a day excuse drinking loads of Guinness.

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