Settling into new surroundings

I have now arrived at what may be a more permanent location. I’m located fairly close to where I was staying before. Rathmines is now the closest ‘village’ to me, and it only takes me ten minutes to walk to a health food store, supermarket, and cafe. I’m staying with a woman and her two kids as well as three other women…a student, a gal who is working a bit as an au pair for my host, and a woman who has returned to Dublin and is working. So it is a busy house!

I had a chance to take a bit of a walk around my neighbourhood and was pleasantly surprised to find that I’m located a couple minutes away from Dartry Park and a walking path along the river. Despite the forecast that it would be a dreary and rainy day, it has instead been sunny-ish and lovely, so I took a little walk this evening as the sun set.

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A few days back I spent the day with a friend of my dad’s friend. She showed me around South Dublin and the Dun Laoghaire area. It was a beautiful mild day, and I felt that being near the sea was a great way to recharge after spending time in the city. The air was fresh and salty, and it reminded me of BC. After a day of exploring the area, she introduced me to hot whiskey, which unlike my send-off hot whiskey, was in hot water with a lemon slice that had cloves stuck in it. I had ridden my host’s extra bike, and at the end of the day the lights were not working (since the time change it has been getting dark before six). So I headed back yesterday to pick it up, discovering that it’s a two and a half hour walk there, then a half hour bike back to my ‘old’ place, and a half hour walk to where I’m staying now!

Something I enjoy most about travelling is learning about the little things that make daily life different from what I am used to. In Ireland, I’ve discovered some of these things; license plates start with the year the vehicle was made followed by the letter for the county where it was registered, making for some funny road rage exclamations; heat is not something that is generally on throughout the day, but instead is only on for a couple hours in the morning and at night…and for those of you that know me, you will be aware that I spent last winter with my feet shoved in the radiator whenever I was home, so this will be an adjustment; and there are no plugs in bathrooms, which makes some things a bit weird, such as charging one’s toothbrush elsewhere. These little things can help shift my thinking, but they also have a tendency to make me recognize the small things I enjoy, but haven’t noticed, about home.

Ambivalent Blogger

I’ve created this blog to keep in touch with friends and family. Let’s just call it a personal travel journal for the dear ones in my life, and not a blog, which feels rather daunting. I hummed and hawed for a while…but thought it might be a nice way to send out little tidbits once in a while. So…welcome to my Irish adventures!

yellow_doorThe last few days are a bit fuzzy. I always find that travelling messes with one’s memory. Except for the first day, which I slept away, I have travelled almost the same route every day into the city centre. I love Ranelagh village, which is just around the corner from where I’m staying. I’ve found a wonderful little coffee bar where they serve a superb espresso, which has resulted in a drastic increase in my caffeine consumption. Everything I need is in the village…a nice deli of sorts, grocery store, wine store, and even a designer consignment shop. It’s lovely being able to go in to the city centre when I want to (25 minutes, walking), but not have to be part of the bustle every day.

I’ve gone out a couple times, once to a pub around the corner and another to a different pub nearby to catch some live music. Both times I drank a glass of wine. The second time the bartender had to look up the price of wine, as it was clearly not the drink of choice…but in all fairness, I was planning on going to wine bar, only it was empty! The music was mediocre. I found the event on a site that lists information about the Bram Stoker Festival, so I thought it would be decent, but it was a cover band that sadly ended up playing one song twice! Ah well, yesterday I happened upon a really interesting and lively band called Mutefish (http://www.mutefish.ie/videos.php) that was playing on a downtown street. They’re definitely worth a listen if you’ve got a moment.

bridgeAs you might expect, there are colourfully painted pubs on many corners. I love the use of colour in the city. So many of the apartments have these lovely brightly painted doors with huge knobs in the middle. I’ve found myself a place, and just called the woman to let her know I will take it. It’s in St. Kevin’s Gardens, a 20 minute bike ride to the city centre. I’ve been biking around and am still adjusting to the steep learning curve of being on the other side of the road.

Well, I’m headed out now for some tapas to celebrate my apartment hunting success 🙂