Sunday, July 18, 2010

July 18--Two Weeks Down, Two to Go

Except for Monday it was a very solitary week. Fumbled around with the writing, didn't get to the research yet--tomorrow I hit the library in search of pics and farming info circa late 1950's--and tried to force myself to adjust to the time change with limited success. I've been sleeping six to eight hours, but that usually comes between 4AM and 11AM give or take an hour either way.

Since I ran through the books I brought the first week (American Rust, The Vagrants, Tinkers and Bloodbrothers) on Monday I caught the bus to Galway in search of a bookstore and a good meal that I didn't have to cook myself. The bus stop is right across from the grocery store and showed up on time, 1115AM. It cost 11.40 Euro each way. Cheaper than a rental car, but after it took close to two hours to make the 25 mile trip I'm kind of wishing I had fought a little harder to secure the funds for one. I don't need it most days, but having my own wheels would have made it easier to explore the wider county. Maybe next time.

This would be the third time I Galway this trip. I had to make the transfer there the first day and Triona gave me a ride the first Monday. This time I was free to move around, but I was also free of the camera, forgotten in the apartment, so I didn't get to catalog the trip. Sorry.

After making a few trips from the bus stop, through Shop Street and around the park without finding the shops Lorna had told me about, I stopped at the Quays, a pub Sarah and I had a lot of fun at when Sarah and I were there in 2004. I got a shepard's pie and a pint of Kilkenny, which was as good as I remembered it. I've heard they serve it in the States now but I haven't found it yet.

Re-energized from the food and drink I set off again around in search of a bookstore and familiar sights. Galway was one of our favorite parts of the trip and we spent a lot of time walking about and visiting the pubs, but there's been so much development in the six years since we came it took a while to get my bearings. The City looks much, much more modern, and if that's a good thing or not I'll let the people who actually live here decide. I'm hesitant to pass judgment on the changes that have taken place based on my expectations and memories. Just because I thought it was nice as semi-quaint college city doesn't mean the residents felt the same.

Being the height of tourist season the streets were packed. There were lots of visitors from in country, too. While at the pub, I overheard the guy next to me remarking on the big crowds, for a Monday afternoon, and someone reminded him that people from the North were on holiday. I didn't catch the answer when he asked which holiday, but i did see him cover his mouth and turn red, and heard him say "Shit. I'm going to get myself into trouble," so I'm guessing it had to do with someone getting shot or something getting blown up.

I must have been shocked to get back, because it took me an hour of searching and asking direction at one convenience store and the Irish Tourism Board to realize that I'd passed two bookstores about four times, once about five minutes after I got on the bus. I did my browsing and made my purchases. Even adjusted for the Euro, the books here are cheaper, and new releases are available in paperback and hardcover, still the same price, though. These are things a book geek like me finds interesting, but I don't expect anyone else to. I bought 4 between three shops and went back to the bus station to catch my ride back to Carraroe.

Three interesting things from Galway: 1. A shop that I'm pretty sure was advertising weed for sale, but I don't know, I didn't go in 2. A pretty young English girl about seven months pregnant smoking a cigarette 3. Seeing two junkies walk into the bathroom at the bus station while I was buying my ticket, then overhearing while I was taking a piss as they knocked around inside a stall, booting up. It made me think of home...

If only the rest of the week were so interesting. I mainly stayed in and fought with myself over what I was trying to write, and battle I won/lost to myself just yesterday. This happens all the time to me: I worry and worry that whatever I'm working on isn't perfect, try to start all over again from 50 different angles, then realize the only thing to do is keep going with what I've got until it's done. I've actually become good at it. That fight used to last six months. Now it's over after four or five days.

Other than that, my days were filled with reading (I finished all the books I bought) going to the grocery store, cooking, and going for walks to scope out the area, which resulted in the pictures I'm posting. I didn't get to take any pictures of all the dogs I've seen, particularly the two golden labs who found me walking home from the beach last weekend and decided I was in need of an escort, which entailed walking in front of me, sticking a head under my hand every twenty feet, and barking and chasing away any cars that dared pass to close. I'll see if I can find them again.

Next week I'll be doing research, probably going back into Galway and maybe catching the ferry out to the Aran Islands one day, although I may hold that off for the last week.

Pics will be up shortly.

Until next time.


  1. Sounds really great. And isn't nice that Labs are the same the world over. Well now your on the downside! Be here before ya know it! Be well, stay busy, see you very soon!!

  2. By the way, on first blush, the Ri Ra Irish Pub in Providence RI has Kilkenny. There is another in Portsmith NH but I'm not sure the have it there...

  3. Love this! You sound like you're having a marvelous time.

  4. They had Kilkenny @ the Burren for a limited engagement a month or so ago. I'll ask if it's coming back. It was so lovely!

    Glad to read your updates.

  5. Aw, Jen, I wish I had known, Kilkenny is my faaaaavorite!