Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Nicole & Dub-Dub, one month and going strong

Judgement Day

I have been in Dublin for just over a month now, so I had to officially register with Immigration here. The Immigration Office at the Garda makes the DMV look like a fucking carnival. It was a 7 hour endeavour just so the authorities could review my documents, get my fingerprints, and print me a card with yet another lovely mugshot-esque picture of me. I was allowed to leave and come back but I ended up sitting there for 3 hours, not knowing how fast they would call the numbers. I look loopy in the picture, probably because I was practically drooling on myself waiting to be summoned. It was like some warped purgatory, as me and the other foreigners sat there and waited...and waited...you get the idea.

Given that it is my 1 month anniversary of my relationship with the Emerald Isle, I have made a list of things I appreciate after being here for over a month now.

1.) Being able to navigate Dublin Bus. Meaning, being able to close my eyes for a few minutes and not freak out about spotting landmarks indicating it's time to get off. This also includes being able to sit backwards on the bus, being able to listen to my iPod on the bus, and being able to observe other passengers on the bus. For example, a few days ago I hear that familiar buzz of an iPod turned up way too loud. My rule for iPods on public transportation is that if I'm hearing it and can decipher the song, you are probably going deaf. If I were fixated on not missing my stop, I would have missed the fact that an old lady sitting near me with headphones on was blaring Akon "Right now" into her skull at obnoxious and hazardous volumes..... na na na na, indeed. This was more amusing than you might think.
Because I have a thirst for adventure, an expensive weekly student bus pass, and apparently way too much time on my hands, sometimes I get on random buses. However, the thrill factor in this is quite limited since it is "Dublin" bus, just about all routes lead in or around somewhere of vague familiarity. It is nice taking different routes into Dublin though. I like seeing new neighbourhoods, churches, people, etc. It's a refreshing alternative to the monotony of the same bus routes everyday.

2.) Being able to jaywalk in Dublin, whilst listening to iPod... VICTORY! Once again, this sounds simple. However, with cars running in the opposite direction of what I'm used to, combined with a multitude of neon-clad Lance wannabes chugging along on the periphery of all the lanes, and Evil Kinnevals scooting between cars along the dotted lines, a NY attitude about walking can be extremely hazardous. I enjoy a good jaywalk.

3.) Hair and Fashion. Both guys & girls have such edgy haircuts here, I really love it. Crazy colors and so many shades of red...I can't get enough of it. I love seeing guys on the street that have fierce hair styles and the clothes to match...LOVE IT. Also, at uni, people dress up EVERYDAY. It's a good change for me, as my favourite outfit for class back at the Rut is sweats & sweats. I have YET to wear sweatpants outside my residence. (you heard correctly reen!) I really love it, the fashion here, the hair...I may sacrifice one of my travel plans to dye my hair something fierce but I am still in limbo about that.

4.) Food. Well, everyone warned me about the shitty Dublin food but I really haven't had anything to complain about. Maybe that's because drinking sucks up so much of my funds here that I only eat what I'm used to or don't try anything complex. I still can't cook, but I am working on it. For instance, instead of pre-cooked whole-wheat pasta in a bag, (glorious) I actually boiled my own last night. WILD. Sometimes, I even pour my cereal into a bowl instead of shoving handfuls into my mouth.

5.) Music. It is everywhere. The cobblestone streets are freckled with diverse musicians, playing guitars, bag-pipes, weird horns that I don't know the names of, drums, accordions. It's excellent. They play all hours of the day as far as I know. My favourite encounter was last Friday, when I was on Grafton Street on a way to a pub I had heard good things about. Even though it was about 9 and all the stores on Grafton were closed (except for some of the food places) this band was set up in the middle of the street and the crowd was perfect: about 25 people. Some dancing, some clapping, some clearly intoxicated, it was fabulous.

I’m sure this list will lengthen but that’s all I’ve got for now. Next chapter.

"Your tights are so BOLD!"

I love wearing different colour tights. I have purple, blue, grey, many shades of black (in terms of how opaque they are), and most notoriously, my pink leggings that have reaked havoc all over the streets of New Brunz, and now Dublin…holla.

I met a drag queen on the streets of Dublin last Friday. I was off to meet some friends earlier on in the night before going out, and a man stopped me on O'Connell St. and goes:
"Excuse me, where did you get those leggings? I love the shade, I'm into drag." he says this all pretty quickly, and my first inclination is that I (obviously) think he's going to mug me, playing the old "I'm a drag queen" card to throw me off guard. I swap my clutch into my opposite hand and try to pick up any signs of potential creepers around me.

I had never met a drag queen. I have seen one, in a club, but I guess obviously they don't dress like that all the time. Anyway, this guy didn't look like a drag queen. I was much taller than him, for one. Although I guess drag queens wear heels. He was carrying bags in both his hands; he would have to drop them to grab anything of mine, so I put my guard down enough to actually turn to him.

It wasn't until I awkwardly started responding to him that I realized he was for real. He pulled up his jeans to reveal dark semi-opaque black tights covering his ankle. I literally talked to him for 5 minutes, but he was creeping me out...we had now crossed the Liffey and were turning off of O'Connell. I started to feel like he was following me and making the same turns as me...Then I remembered how paranoid I am and thought hey, maybe this is just a normal drag queen looking for some quality leggings.

Once I actually turned to face him I stopped walking (what if he followed me to the bar I was headed? No thank you!) He wouldn't stop talking, was asking me how he could order my leggings, what other colours Express had to offer, the thread count of them, what other colours do I wear, how do they keep me warm, where am I from in the states, etc. Obviously I gave him the name of my alter-ego (Rachel) to which he said "Ahh that's very American! Very pretty!" His name was Eamonn.

Well, it is Dublin so after 5 minutes of being outside it started to drizzle and now I was pissed off that this rambling drag queen was going to cause me to ruin my hair. We parted ways after I rudely interjected into his monologue but not before he slipped a piece of paper in my hand, apparently giving me directions to the best leggings and body wear shop in Dublin. As soon as he gave it to me, I realized it would be an excellent souvenir to show my friends as proof of my wacky encounter. I still have it and being that I think I ripped my leggings open on the sharp edge of the table that night (or maybe I was just drunk?) I might check out that store.

Sangria Kiss Party xoxo

The Spanish people I live with were kind enough to organize a huge party last Saturday (Valentine’s Day) in our residence hall. I’ve put pictures up via la face, (miss you Gill!) and I will assure you that it was a total shitshow. In order to get any sangria you had to bring someone up to the table with you and kiss them. It was great fun, and we all got pretty pissed.

Unfortunately, the housing office doesn’t share the same sentiment. We all received a very stern email regarding our shenanigans. They are now reviewing the video cameras in the residence in an attempt to figure out who cracked one of the windows of one of the main doors. Of course, they will have to fast forward through the drunken limbo contest and other activities. Additionally, broken glass littered the floors, and all the counters and tables are sticky with sangria. They are also investigating into who decided to play with the fire extinguishers. Personally, I’m glad people are taking it upon themselves to practice with the extinguishers, because in the event of a fire I would prefer if there was some veteran fire fighter among us, not some rookie reaching for the thing for the first time. Perhaps I will forward my thoughts onto Shirley, the accommodations manager.


Although I have decided it would be more honest for me to tell people that I am indeed on holiday when they ask me why I am in Dublin, I can assure you that I am currently in the computer lab at UCD between classes. Hard to believe, I know. Here’s proof: € holla £ € € £ £ £ £ €€€ € € € £ £ love these euro keyboards. They are bit smaller than those in the states but that’s no surprise. Some of the keys are moved too so I feel a bit stupid searching for keys like @ and #. Oh well.


Nickyboyy said...

HAHAHAHAHAHA i love your life so much. That drag queen sounds fab and I have to admit I do miss all of the crazy fierce fashion senses that people have there. IM SO JEALSS

Nicole said...

NICK i love you even though this response is belated from when you actually commented.