I’m sitting here in ‘my’ house in Ireland. That’s right. My house. Others can also make that claim but they have to write their own blog. My first day in Ireland was less than spectacular. The flight was long and extremely uncomfortable. I tried to sleep while everyone else was eating, it wasn’t happening. It wasn’t happening with the help of Tylenol PM either. There was no comfort zone to be found and believe me I tried. I tried crossing my legs on top of the fold down tray. It is possible. And if I had been able to get my pillow under my ankle it would have been okay. But once my legs were up there no other part of my body could move. So by the time I got my legs back down I thought ‘to hell with it’. THen I tried sticking my feet up against the wall between the seat and the wall. No. I tried curling myself in to my seat…. no, it did not work.
At least the being awake paid off when flying over the first islands and shore of Ireland. If you haven’t seen it I suggest you go.
Then the fun started! Yay! David went to get the rental car while I waited on the last suitcase to come around the carrousell. I retrieved the bag and made my way to the car rental counter. I stood back because others were in line and I didn’t need to be there. Things appeared well. Then I saw the Irish man behind the counter tip his head and his humor was gone. I saw the back of David’s shoulders hunch. Then I saw him flipping through his papers he had prepared for the entire trip. Finally he made his way to me. The man at the counter did not honor the agreement the broker made for the car rental. I was too tired and just wanted to go. We went to the car. David saw a ding on the car and made one of the guys come out and check it out. He was pleasant and David apologized for getting upset with his colleague and explained to this man what the problem was. This new guy took the time to explain to David what was what and all was well again. He explained what the other fella did not understand or know how to explain to David. Hand shaking and thank yous.
We head out. I am hungry. I’ve not had a meal in an entire day. I had the same clothes on since 23 hours earlier (and this remained the same for another 12 hours-ish.
The drive to pick up our bikes and head to “our” house in Donegal included: David turning down an off ramp of a highway, going the wrong way and heading straight for the car heading for us (not uncommon even on the proper roads). David cut off someone on a round-about. We got honked at. We stopped at 3 different places so I could go to the bathroom. I could not use the bathroom at any of them for one reason or another. We did get a scone. This made me happy.
All of these aggressive Irish really got to me. It was not the Irish I knew.
But I knew it wasn’t them. It was the lack of sleep, lack of proper food, lack of cleanliness glasses I was looking through.
But still, it didn’t feel like Ireland.
We picked up the bikes. The bike store guy didn’t normally do this but he rented us 2 bikes, a lock, a bike carrier and 2 helmets. We had him make sure the bike carrier was on correctly. I asked him if he thought it would dent the car. He said “what’s it matter it’s a rental”. My first smile of the day.
So we get back to driving. I wanted so badly to close my eyes and sleep. But I didn’t think that was fair to David. He was driving and I was afraid he would fall asleep. Not to mention he was scaring the hell out of me. He would not stop so we could sleep. But we did get a little adrenaline rush when the Outlaws of Ireland motorcycle gang rode past us. They were quite rude. Motorcycle gang or not, have some manners.
It sure did not feel like Ireland.
I bet we passed one hundred bicyclists today. And they are brave bikers here in Ireland. That’s all I’ve got to say.
We did come across some very nice Irish people. They loved my Irish shirt I had on. They wished us happy holiday. I just couldn’t get my happy back.
We found our house and there was UT and AC waiting for us. It almost felt like going to their home in the USA. It was kind of surreal. In a good way.
We went to a pub for dinner. We loved the waitress and I will assume she loved us. Why wouldn’t she.
We came back to our house. I went behind our house to the 200 year old building in the rear. I stepped in the doorway and there, there it was. Ireland that I love. The old, the solid, the stone, the shapes, the stories that run through my head as I picture the people living here, where I stood. It is so easy to picture it and more than that, feel it. Because it is there, the remnants of the history. Some remnants as solid as a building hundreds of years old. Some remnants the whispering of legends and heroes and warriors.
I’m exhausted beyond belief but pushing back the sleep, why sleep!? Why waste sleep while I’m here? I want to ride here, climb here, walk here.
So here I am. Ireland and me.