ireland: dublin

Leaping Into The Unknown…

Someone once told me that I’m extremely self-aware and have a never-ending quest to do what makes me happy.   The someone who was giving me this “talking to” thought he was pointing out my tendencies of being a self-destructive fool so I could change my ways.  Despite that super awkward conversation four years ago, I’m glad to report that if anything has changed, it’s that I’m more of those things that were pointed out as negative aspects to my personality.  The reason I felt the need to share this is because at the end of May, I said farewell to life on the Emerald Isle for just those reasons.  To those who knew me, the news of my departure came as no surprise since Ireland and I could be best compared to a square peg and a round hole.    Over the last few months, I’ve been heavily questioned about what I didn’t like about Ireland but my leaving has very little to do with my fondness or lack there of for the country.  Despite appearances and the randomness I vomited from time to time, I don’t dislike Ireland at all.  I think Ireland is a fun little country worth visiting but what I’ve learned in the past year is visiting and living are two very different things.

Despite my struggles with living in Ireland, I have no regrets about making the move that I did.  Without it, I wouldn’t be leaving with the experiences and friendships that I consider priceless.  Once people accepted the fact that I was leaving, the next question was where to next on my trip around the world.  The honest answer, after I recovered from the assumption that I’m doing a trip around the world, is that I don’t know.  What I do know is that I would like the next city that I live in to be one I settle in.  Maybe it’s just old age rearing its ugly head but I think it would be nice to be less nomadic without losing any of my travel perks.  I know that will be a tough point to negotiate but I’m a firm believer that you don’t get things you don’t ask for.

At present time, there are multiple factors in play that will eventually determine where I’ll go but for the time being, I’ve fallen in love with being a  jobless layabout gallivanting around Europe.  If this is going to be the last hurrah then I’m going to have to make it count, right?  Anyway, as far as my summer travel plans go, I have a concept of where I’m going and what friends are meeting me along the way and the rest will sort itself out.  Fingers crossed anyway.

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Nothing Says Christmas Like A Pub Crawl!


The 12 Pubs of Christmas was something I’d never heard of until I set foot on Irish soil. Leave it to the Irish to kick off the holiday season (yes, my politically correct “North American” term that my Irish coworkers detest) with copious amounts of drinking while wearing a tacky jumper. The rules are simple – get your friends together, dress up Christmassy, and hit 12 pubs where you have 30 mins in each establishment to down 1 pint or shot.

I wound up buying a rather pricey red Rudolph jumper and assembling a group that resembled the United Nations and set off to hits the pubs up and down my street. In no tome flat, I was corrected by the Irish in the bunch that my drink of choice didn’t qualify as a real drink. Turns out a vodka soda is only half a drink and I would have to down double vodka sodas to be legit!

Truth be told, I only took on the doubles when it was his shout as it was the only to avoid a little holiday stomach pumping…yeah! All in all, it was a good night and we made it to 12 pubs and a random Asian karaoke bar but I only managed to drink in 8 before closing time rolled around and we had to call it a night. If you’re ever in Ireland during the festive season – this is one ritual that I’d highly recommend if for nothing else but interestingly tacky attire.

Our 12 Pubs Mascot at the beginning of the night - by the end she was nothing but twigs with mementos from each pub

Our 12 Pubs Mascot at the beginning of the night – by the end she was nothing but twigs with mementos from each pub

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The Chick Flick – Reinvented!

death-of-a-superhero-posterWhile everyone else was off doing that Christmas shopping hustle this weekend, I just couldn’t muster the enthusiasm or strength to participate.   The truth is I missed the shipping deadline, had a ton of present still left to be bought, and was still recovering from that awful stomach flu.  The last thing anyone in my state would want to do is fight the crowds to buy useless shit that nobody really wants but will have to pretend they love because I gift wrapped the damn thing.  Blah, blah, blah – bah humbug I know!  So I did the only sensible thing that any other girl would do in my situation – I rallied up a few female friends to take in a flick.  Maybe its just me and my friends but the chick flick of choice was obviously Death of a Superhero.  For the average girl, maybe animation mingling with live action doesn’t necessary equal chick flick but I don’t think most people lump me into that category despite my love of all things pink so take this with a grain of salt like all things coming from me.

Death of a Superhero is a German/Ireland coming of age story that is based on a New Zealand book of the same name.  Despite the New Zealand connection (not hating on NZ…just have a strange feeling that it might have been something in the water that has brought me to this state of once you go kiwi…you can never go back that I’m stuck in) I was so excited to see this film.  Without revealing too much, what I will say is that the 3 of us left the theatre happy with our film-going experience and has even lead us to quoting one of my favourite lines in the movie – “life is a sexually transmitted disease, its spread by people having sex and then in the end it kills ya”.  As for the delay in my Christmas shopping activities – I would say this was definitely worth it and would do it again in a heartbeat.

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In Bed With A Nasty Clown

This was almost the subject line of a recent email I sent my team while lying in bed sick with the nasty new bug making the rounds.  Just in the nick of time, I had a flash of sanity and realized that my reference to a Canadian advert would have only made the Irish folks think I’ve jumped into the deep end of weird once again.  For some reason constantly using the term feck hailing from Father Ted is oh so understandable but I would join the ranks of the Aussies muttering, “Not Happy Jan!”, if I would have shared the above.  Since I still think my original title would have been funny and too good to pass up, the best I could do is share it now even if it’s with a rather bad version of the original advert!

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A Car Full Of Foreigners

Bright Blue Bridge on the road from Dublin to Belfast

The last few weeks have been more than hectic to say the least as it starting to feel like the day job is ruling my life.  Sadly, its gotten to a point where fitting in time to eat has been so overwhelming that anything else has become simple unimaginable to me.  As I began contemplating if there are any advantages to working like a dog in a foreign land, I was lucky enough to have an Aussie mate remind me of what I’m doing here in the first place.  Truth be told, it’s really hard to think about travel when you don’t have a second to breathe but having a friend who’ll serve you a weekend mini-break on a silver platter is exactly what the doctor ordered in situations like this.

It all seems like a blur as I somehow went from slaving away at the office to being strapped into the Golden Bubble as we attempted to navigate our way from Dublin to Belfast without winding up in some random town in rural Ireland – please don’t ask me about how an Ikea trip landed us in Howth as I’m still blaming the faulty GPS for that blunder!  After all, there’s nothing like 4 foreigners in a car with a booty popping problem and a GPS system with absolutely no sense of direction that can make or break a roadtrip right?

I can continue on and bore you with the details of the drive but have decided that there’s no need for that kind of nonsense.  All I will say is that shoelaces are miracle workers to a booty problem and in this day and age if your GPS system has no sense of direction – well there’s an app for that!  With an almost dead iPhone and luggage that consuming space everywhere else aside from the trunk, we pulled off the highway and turned onto the city streets of Belfast and knew that it was only a matter of time before it was our turn to be full.

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