Monday, June 24, 2013

Portland, OR → Chicago, IL → Toronto, Canada → London, England → Dublin, Ireland

Today is the day I arrive in a new country. Naturally, it had to begin with disaster. Getting out of Portland was easy enough, and landing in Chicago was all well and good, but that's where everything got complicated. There was a beautiful, ridiculous thunderstorm in Chicago, which came out of nowhere and hung around for a while, thunder rattling the windows of the airport and fantastic lightning displays keeping me occupied while I waited to board the plane. As lovely as it was, it grounded all air traffic, and the flight to Toronto left late. Everyone was assured we would get to our connecting flights on time, but that was a big fat lie, and in spite of sprinting through the Toronto airport and customs, the flight left without all ten of us that were supposed to be on it.
After an hour or so at the customer service desk, another flight was booked to London with a connecting flight to Dublin, and in a few short hours the halted trip continued.
This is how I ended up in London. This is how I ended up with six and a half hours before the connecting flight to Dublin, with nine hours of jet lag and no sleep at all. I didn't think I could actually sleep curled up on a plastic chair in the middle of a very noisy airport absolutely filled with people, but I did, and after having my sleepy picture taken thirty times throughout the awful maze of Heathrow (I hated Heathrow), Dublin finally happened. And it was lovely.

  Having gotten there much later than expected, some wandering was done, and then food was to be had. And a Guinness, of course. Isaac's Hostel was one of the nicest hostels I've ever stayed at (and I've stayed at some freaking dingy hostels), and the roommates were from Mexico, which was neat. Speaking Spanish after being awake for almost two days is one of my specialties (it was awful, but they thought it was hilarious).
There was a small pub called The Celt (of course) close to the hostel, where an older gentleman was singing Irish folk songs with his guitar in the extremely crowded, dimly lit bar. And let me tell you, I've never liked Guinness. It is quite possibly my least favourite beer. But when in Rome, you know (or Ireland, as it were). Oh my god. If I lived in Ireland I would be a drunk, all the time. That Guinness was so good I drank it like water. And then wanted lots and lots more time in Ireland.

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