29.04.2009 - 29.04.2009 55 °F
I get up, and turn on the TV to check the time. mid-morning.
I'm amused by the commercials here. They are more blatantly risque. It also seems that toilet cleaning is an obsession. There is every variety of toilet cleaning product you could imagine.
In one commercial, the kid keeps repeating to his Mom "I need a poo!". Apparently he wants to go to his auntie's house to poo because she has glade plug-ins and Mom does not. Heh.
There's also a lot of creative commercials for birth control. Fascinating.
I head out to catch the bus into Dublin proper. As I arrive at the bus stop, I smile at the man sitting there and he gets a weird look on his face them looks away. I figure 'well, whatever', then he turns to me and says in his thick Irish accent: "sorry, love. you threw me there fer a minute. not much reason to smile on a gray day like today. wasn't spectin' it." So I smiled again and said "well It's my first time here, guess I just don't know any better. It looks beautiful to me". This time, he smiled.
I jump on the public bus to the center of town where the tour buses are.
On the way, I'm looking for a used clothing store so I can buy a jacket.
I spot a Unicef shop and hop off the bus at the next stop, then walk back to the shop.
I buy a beige jacket that's a little too small. It's one of those feather-stuffed jobs. The pickings were slim. Whatcha gonna do? It only cost 2 pounds, so I'll ditch it before Spain.
[The shop was selling everything that day for 2 pounds for a children's charity. That's something I've noticed a lot in Europe. People are really big on giving to childrens' charities. Not that we aren't into charity in the states, but here, there are people asking for donations at every major hub - airports, bus stops, shops dedicated to selling items for charity every few blocks, etc. Maybe our solicitation laws prevent that except for the Salvation army at Christmas time for some reason?]
I catch the bus again with a nice warm jacket on, and head downtown.
I find the tourist information office and buy a tour bus pass that's good for 2 days. (I tried to take the ghost tour, but it was booked up until Friday night. Dang.)
I noticed that there is a movie theater across the street all decked out in Star Trek gear. Wolverine is out today. Maybe I'll go see it later after its too dark to take pictures on the tour. Hm.
The tour was great. Those bus drivers are like Kamikazes trying to keep up with the pre-recoded Audio. All these tiny, narrow streets and pedestrians and traffic, but they barrel through undaunted. Sometimes we are within inches of other buses. They take the turns so fast I could swear we are about to tip over. It's crazy!
I tried to get some good pictures, but the streets are narrow, the buildings are tall, and the buses move so quickly - it's no easy feat. I just snapped away like crazy and spent an hour or two sorting them later. I deleted about 1/3 of the pics i took after all was said and done. You wouldn't know it by how many remain though
Here are a few things I didn't catch with the camera:
- There was graffiti that said "RIP Ireland. Lisbon is the killer!".
- There was an electrical box with a lightning symbol that said "Death lies within".
- There are pigeons that look different than ours - ruffled necks and dove-like coloring.
- There are HUGE blue jays.
- There are sea birds unlike regular gulls. Black wings and white bellies. Different beaks.
After the tour, I drop into the movie theater to find that the next showing of Wolverine is in one hour.
I talk to the usher about local eateries and he points me to Flanagan's across the street. I order a traditional Irish stew and Guinness. Sooo perfect!
Then, I head back to the theater and watch Wolverine. It's great! Go see it
There was a hilarious ad before the movie. It showed a Ken doll getting ready for a date, then barbie also getting ready. They have a great time on the date vignette, then go back to her place and the "bow-chicka-bow" music starts as they undress each other. Then, it shows them naked looking down at an obvious lack of equipment and the ad ends with the tag-line for a variety store "some bits are necessary". Hahaha!
The movie experience in Ireland is basically the same as in the states. The differences would be the ads, and the fact that there is only one theater screen, and the fact that they draw the huge red curtain across the screen for a 5 minute intermission between the ads and the movie.
It's getting dark, so I head back to the hotel.
For some reason the heater stops working at night, and the room gets cold. I think the hotel just turns things off at certain times to save money.
I also can't figure out how to turn on any lights in my room other than the 20 watt bulb in the lamp on the desk, so the room is quite dark at night. It's a good thing the bathroom has a window with a light outside, or I'd have a real problem .
- there are lots of tanning booths in Dublin. *snicker*
- All over Europe there are corner markets called "Spar" that are the equivalent of a 7-11 in the states. [Once, I walked into a Spar where the store was packed with people, and the entry door was full of constant in/out trafic. I just made a left inside the door because it was the only unclogged area of the shop. But it turns out there was a reason for that - It was the *ahem*... Adult section. Oops. So, i had to try and weave my way back into the entryway traffic from that section. Heh.]
- I expected everything here to be smoky, but I have not encountered any smoking other than infrequently outside business doorways. Nice!
That's it for now,