Pushbike Diaries

Feeling a bit low, uncertain in Dublin: Tuesday 4 August 2015 (Day 72)

Tuesday 4 August 9:30 am

Am I doing this thing right? I guess I am because it’s the way I’m doing it but am I doing it in a way I’ll be satisfied with when it’s over?

Sanz sent me a link to a piece about Groningen, in the Netherlands, where 61% of trips are by bicycle. She wondered if it’s on my list … and I’m kind of like: what list? Where am I going and why? I feel like it’s become very organic but maybe too organic.

Should I make a point of getting to bicycle places? To Jewish places?

Grrr … I have to think more about what I’m doing.

God, the weather’s nasty out there … wind is swirling rain around.

11:51 am

I’m looking forward to getting out to Dublin. Rural living is not for me, the whole having to drive everywhere, not being able to just pop out to a shop, wouldn’t suit me in the long run.

9:35 pm

Glenn asked me when I’d be home. And Cornelia gave me a big hug and said she’s looking forward to my return.

It was lovely and almost made me teary.

I don’t think I’d be the same if I’d had a house guest for a week.

10:15 pm – McDaids, Dublin

Not my picture, it's Patrick Donald's.
Not my picture, it’s Patrick Donald’s.

This pub is opposite Bruxelles – which used to be a hard place – there’s a statue of Phil Lynott, from Thin Lizzy, out front. It’s difficult to imagine this gentrified place as one that birthed Thin Lizzy. But Dublin then wasn’t what Dublin is now. I first visited in 1988 and it was basically a provincial hard-luck city just beginning to turn. Now, even after the GFC, it’s a bustling, cosmopolitan, European capital.

It’s so much more multicultural than even 20 years ago (when I was last here) – people working in places, residents on the street, the assortment of restaurants. And it’s crushing with foreign tourists. A lot of Spanish – I don’t know why that is. A desire to learn English in a Catholic country maybe?

Couples are bugging me. The sight of them – the hand holding, the little touches. Baz – the filmmaker friend of Glenn, who gave me a lift to Dublin – ringing his wife/partner to let her know he was on his way.

After wandering around the city centre for a good while I finally found this pub – which is age appropriate. Busy but not full – mostly, but not exclusively, middle aged men. None of any interest. It’s hard to walk into a pub after 10 pm as a middle-aged woman, alone, in travelling pants, walking shoes, and with a crazily coloured rucksack and feel anything but invisible and undesirable. Alone. Did I mention the ‘alone’ bit?

I’ve booked a third night at this hostel but I’m going to look for something else. My own space – I’ve not paid for accommodation this past week, and more of that to come with Glenn and Cornelia, so fuck it – a bit of a splurge is in order.

Yeah – feeling a little low and not looking forward to my dorm-room sleep. It’s a small room. It will be stuffy. Sigh. It’s just two nights, it’ll be okay.

Dublin reminds me of Melbourne.

 

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