The Puppets in the Pub - Challenges in Dublin

The event the world has been waiting for has finally commenced - the transcontinent adventure of me completing assignments from a one Victoria Beckley while I travel alone and wish she were here. This is all preparation for our get-rich-quick plan to co-author a book entitled Laize-Faire Parenting by Becky Beckley (the 40-year old identity we will be adopting) to make the overhead for the botanical brewery we will open to reunite all our far-flung friends.

As you can see from the picture which hopefully showed up, Victoria gave me three assignments which I completed with varying degrees of adherence to the syllabus. Johnston student as always.

My first assignment, to visit the Trinity college library, was completed somewhat inadvertently. On Saturday night I went on the Dublin Literary Pub Crawl, where actors perform scenes from plays and literature, such as Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett, and tell you snippets about Irish writers as you travel to different pubs and different historical sites. The Trinity library happened to be one of the places where we stopped to be infused with knowledge, such as the fact that Oscar Wilde almost competed in the Olympics in boxing.

Since I had to book the tour on-site at the pub it started at to use my Dublin pass discount of three euro, there was quite a bit of waiting time since I couldn't prereserve. I prompted completed my task of befriending a student by talking about Oscar Wilde here. By which I mean, I promptly befriended a Swedish man, approximate age 70, named Pare, by talking about James Joyce and traveling. Same thing. We became buddies for the whole tour and hung out in every pub sharing our life stories.

The tour used two actors to relate facts in an entertaining manner. The main guy, we'll call him Jervis, was quite funny and did great renditions of the works that infused his personal wit. Unfortunately his companion a woman who we'll call Patricia was not as good of an entertainer, and her recitation of part of Molly Bloom's Soliloquy was not good. But alas I am a snob so I could just be being a Joyce-jerk.

My next assignment, to explore the Temple Bar area, was also completed on a pub crawl, this one called the Viking Pub Crawl which seemed to be a younger crowd (shocking.) It just so happened that there was a large Swedish festival thing because of some soccer game (a really important one I'm sure, I know about soccer now because of the soccer boyfriends) that was Sweden against Ireland and their festival was congregated in Temple Bar. At first I thought it was the same group of people wearing yellow shirts and we just had really similar itineraries, but no there were actually hundreds of these yellow soccer jersey wearing menfolk wandering Dublin.

This pub crawl took us to a few swanky locations in Temple Bar, five to be exact. My friend on this one was a fellow female solo backpacker (the first one I found!) from Canada. We immediately bonded because most of the people on the crawl were Spanish students on a banking internship and they seemed to all know each other already. It turned out she had also just graduated with a math major and econ minor! Just like me! JK. But actually just like my sister.

We were given free shots at every bar, but they were all of the similar gross-low-alcohol content variety like Bailey's or syrupy things or some licorice jaegerlike substance. I thought that joking about this would be an acceptable way to talk to the guide who was talking to me and my Canadaian friend, but I think he actually got insulted and defended the jaeger-knockoff shot. At this I laughed and politely extracted myself to tell another traveler about how much I loved the Steve Jobs book because I don't have time for anyone getting insulted by my snobbish wit.

My other experience at a Temple Bar pub was the previous night, my first, when I went to the bar that has a back entrance at the hostel I was staying at to have a pint to make myself feel like I was being productive even though I was mostly sad to be alone. Luckily I made two friends and one enemy, the two friends being brothers who were reuniting (one was back visiting from New York where he had moved to open a bar!) for a funeral. So that was sad. I felt bad. The enemy was their friend who was super drunk and kept coming over and trying to hug me. He was so drunk I thought it might be some kind of comedy act but they said no, he was just jet-lagged, drunk, and an idiot.

I accomplished task 3 yesterday, on my Ulysses day. I will chronicle the entire day in another post, because it was magical, but I will outline the gorgonzola and etc part here. I went to Davy Brynes after checking out Swenys Pharmacy, which has been reinstated as a Joyce-memorialish place where they do readings. The kind volunteers invited me to the Finnegans Wake reading that night so I decided why not, I'll go have the g-sandwich then come back for the reading.

The sandwich was literally a large piece of gorgonzola cheese on bread, which I found odd but it was surprisingly tasty. I then headed back to Swenys where I hung out with my new friend Kevin, one of the volunteers. About eight people came, most of whom seemed to frequent the readings (they do multiple ones per week, some of Ulysses, unfortunately I missed those) and they were all very friendly although may have been confused about my identity because PJ, the main volunteer, an eccentric old Irish man who wore a lab coat and spoke mainly of cats, thought my name was Betta when I introduced myself and kept referring to me as such. I thought it was just his accent at first, but that turned out to be false. That would be a really ugly name.

Anyway after reading a chapter of Finnegans Wake in which I understood nothing but according to Kevin read well, we went to a pub and had an appropriately awkward hour and a half of chat before I headed back to the hostel to pack/cry. (I bought NOTHING here and got rid of 2 books yet somehow my backpack is still more full. Hmpf.)

Re: puppets in the mail. One of my assignments was brevity but hello each of the three assignments was brief, I can always separate them...

Stay tuned for the Puppets in the Titanic as well as a more emotional and flowery story of my James Joyce day in the regular section. Cheers!