Monday, March 17, 2014

3-16-14 Ireland

3/16/14 Ireland

I didn’t get into Dublin until late. I wasn’t entirely sure how I was going to get where I needed to go, on the other side of the city. There were not any trains that I could see around the airport, but there were buses. First thing first, I needed to get some Euros. The first set of ATMS I went to were out of Euros, so I had to keep looking. I also needed to get a bus pass, and directions on which bus to take. After talking to the tourism information lady, a random store lady, the currency exchange (traded in my ISK for Euros), and finally the Dublin Bus attendants I figured out that I should probably just connect to wifi and google map this out. 

During the above, I also ran into two younger Americans who were out here on holiday from West Point Military Academy. They heard my American accent, noticed my LSU hat and asked where I was from. Turns out they were a couple of Southern Boys from I believe Mississippi and Georgia. They were also headed about the same way I was, down to Dublin city center, but I would be catching another bus out of there. We talked a bit, I asked if they had ever been out of the U.S. and they said no. I offered some advice as an old vet to them. I told them to keep their valuables in their front pockets, to not get black out drunk, and regardless of the situation do not get into a fight with the locals because they were going to get the bad end of the deal. They appreciated the advice and kept calling me Sir. Academy kids calling an old enlisted sailor Sir. Whatever, I’ll take it. 

On the bus ride to Dublin City Center they asked what I was doing out here. I told them, the taller of the two was pretty amazed at the whole thing and inquired about the gym I would be going to because he trained Army Combatives and wanted to check out Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. I gave him the website and told him the times that I would be there. 

The buses here have free wifi, so I had my maps application open and actively tracking the route when I noticed that we passed my stop. I told the guys it was nice to meet them and to keep in touch while they were here but that I had to run. I got down to the front of the bus and told the driver that he missed my stop, he seemed surprised and I had him let me out where we were at. I hailed a cabbie and asked how much it would be to my hotel, the price seemed pretty cheap considering. I took him up on the offer and away we went. 

He inquired about what I was doing and seemed generally interested. He started talking about how if I was fighting that I should go train with some well known boxing coach down in Spain. I just rolled with the conversation, instead of telling him I didn’t do that kind of fighting. It’s pretty common for people to assume Brazilian Jiu Jitsu equals MMA fighting, my own mother was convinced for a couple of years that I “fought ufc” and refused to come see any of my tournaments until recently when she came across some photos of me training. The driver talked about the company that he made where he pulled in a bunch of cabbies to create “Dublin City Cab Tours” (not exact on the name) because he was tired of the union politics and the like. So he put his idea in motion and the rest is history. The rates that he charges to and from the airport to anywhere in Dublin seem to be pretty damn aggressive and cheap. He told me I should call him when I was ready to go to the airport from the hotel when I leave in a few days. Since I had already purchased a 3 day bus pass, I probably won’t be spending any more Euros on a cab. The only reason that I did this time was because I was tired, hungry, and just wanted to get to the hotel as soon as possible. 

We got to the hotel, I checked in, and headed up to the room to get my stuff sorted out. I asked if the restaurant was still selling food, and was told they were closing soon and that I should get over there to order as soon as possible. So I ran over there and made a quick order before heading to the hotel pub. 

I was enjoying my pint of Smithwicks when I was interrupted by an older woman (around 50ish) who asked what I was doing and that I didn’t look to be from around here. It was casual and inquisitive and I felt as though she was making conversation, albeit a bit drunk. So I told her what I was up to and she thought it was pretty interesting, eventually bringing her boyfriend over to talk too. They invited me over to come hangout with them and their friends, I told them I needed to drop my laptop off in my room. I quickly made my way back down after doing so and joined them. It was an older group of people who were curious about me and what I had going on. I said to myself I would only have a couple of pints, but next thing I knew it was after 2am and I was a bit tipsy. 

Needless to say, I didn’t make it to the 2pm training the next day. 

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