Saturday, September 10, 2011

adios Dublin

farewell party - Against the Grain, Wexford Street, Dublin 2

As most of you already know, my time in Ireland is over. This blog has been a great way for me to keep friends + family caught up with my adventures. As you can imagine, things are on hold for a bit. 

For those of you that don't know, I'm back in the states. Just before my visit, my dad became extremely sick and was hospitalized. On his 65th birthday he was diagnosed with cancer and told me over the phone what was going on. Thanks to a minor surgery and a few meds, my dad recovered from the hospital trip and has started treatment. 

As I was packing to go home, I realized that returning to Dublin probably wasn't an option. I couldn't imagine being 5,000 miles away from an important doctor's appointment or a difficult day of treatment. Hubs and I decided pretty quickly to keep our return flights in order to pack up our stuff in Dublin and move in September.

The last two-and-a-half weeks I spent in Ireland were unforgettable. What a gift--to return to a city I love, see friends, and say a proper goodbye. Everybody was supportive: from the landlord who ignored the lease dates + gave us our full deposit early to the Spanish folks that cleared out our apartment to all the friends who made time for a final drink...I can't thank you enough.

Life is constantly in a state of change and the best I can do is enjoy myself along the way. This change was sudden, but I've had an exciting year. Besides--as every single person in Dublin reminded me--California is certainly not the worst place to go.

my final meal at Crackbird - South Williams Street

check you later - Liberty Lane, Dublin 2

Saturday, September 3, 2011

culture shock: part deux

dear salade nicoise, we met in 2011. thus began our love affair.

After three weeks in the states, it felt odd arriving back in if my brain couldn't decide which place should feel more like home. I saw with fresh eyes; noticed every small differences for the second time around. It's impossible to explain the exact feeling but my association with what felt familiar was I didn't belong anywhere. It's not the most productive thing to do when you move, but I find my tendency is to constantly evaluate the differences between my old home and my new home.

Each tiny perceived 'difference' is merely a cultural norm that exists cohesively within Irish culture. I could easily say things like, 'Irish customer service is worse' or 'Irish public transportation is better' to try and explain what I feel. Though somewhat true, these statements dont even begin to tell the whole story.  Yes, compared to the US, the customer service in Ireland is less attentive...but have you ever been to Spain? And yes, compared to most US cities, it is easier to get around Dublin...but have you seen Germany?

Instead of trying to place arbitrary better/worse labels on every moment, I learn to be thankful for the simple enrichment of living it. Each time somebody says to me, 'good woman' or I turn the corner to see the statue of yet another Irish literary figure, my life is changed. I can almost feel my brain cataloging differences in language, in lifestyle, in visual imagery, in history...every bit is added to the spectrum of my life experience. However corny, this year has been about loving the cultures of the world because of--not despite--our immense diversity. Returning to Ireland helped me to realize it has all been worth it.

With that profound thought out of the way, some snapshots:
Irish people make ice in blister packs. it boggles the mind.

nobby's nuts. any questions?

spreading a message of peace

7 years of bad luck right thurr.

obviously it's love. me + Skips + rachel = 4eva.

ladiez night out at the globe

tourists be jumpin' in random pictures.

fashion show at Jervis. the models were 10 yr old babies.

the beautiful + historic Gee Pee Oh

my first feijoada + one more step towards ominvorianism (word?)
cheese, guava, + dulce de leche dessert looking straight-up '1979 retro starfish'

mick wallace was making kissy-lips at us all night

this is how we flirt back