Thursday, August 16, 2007

Entry for August 16, 2007

So I'm really gettin' bad at this whole sleepin' thing.  Another 12 hours again today.  Woke up around noon-ish.  Ok, so it feels great, but wow!

(I think the greater feeling is knowing that I have nothing to do when I wake up!  No worries on my mind!)

I didn't really feel like doin' much today.  My legs were spent from walkin' all over town yesterday...and it felt good to just sit in the couch and stare at mountains.  But that didn't last long...I felt like I had more to see!

Plus I told a guy I would visit him at his motorcycle shop today.  So that's where I headed.  I decided to walk to his shop.  It's probably about 2-3 miles, and to be quite frank, part of that is to save on money.  Everytime I get on a bus or train, it costs 1.90 Euros...more than $2.  So since I wasn't in a hurry, I opted for the feet.  And, wow, were my legs sore!  Felt just like after runnin' a cross-country race!  Every step hurt the ol' shins!

So I head to the lil' motorcycle shop.  But not before a quick trip to the new Harley-Davidson dealer.  We talked about ridin' in Ireland, my trip to Sturgis, and bikes in general.  Turns out they have only been open for 3 months.  And have sold 100 bikes.  Not a bad deal if you ask me (planted that thought in the back of my head...).  I look at some of their clothing (how sweet to have Dublin, Ireland on the shirt instead of Springfield, Illinois, right?!).  But 37 Euros is is 204 for a jacket I liked.  Really I just needed long-sleeves.  It was raining again, and rain coupled with 58 degrees is cold.  Ireland weather is terrible.  I've been rockin' out the short-sleeves and jeans for two days's cold!

After the HD shop, I find a McDonald's...nothin' like a mid-afternoon meal for 1 Euro.  Bought a hamburger off of the EuroSaver Menu...haha...I love it.  Then the lady asked me...

"Take away?"


"Take away or here?"


Turns out our "to go" is their "take away."  Makes sense!

Well, I finally make it to the shop.  James, the owner and I, talk about everything...I end up staying a couple of hours.  He introduces me to another guy named Rory who has this unreal fascination with America.  Rory wants to know all about MIT and if I can guarantee him that he can study there...he has an even greater fascination with particular physics.  And he keeps askin' me what it would take to just have one day in one of the science labs...

I'm not goin' to lie...I wondered if he had ulterior motives!  But I told him about 100,000 Euros for a nice four-year education.  He then said 20,000 would go to me and thanked me over and over...he is truly a brilliant and knowledgeable man...but his mum put him in the insane asylum for awhile as a youngster...kinda threw off all of his plans.  I can understand that.

Well, while there, I talked to the guy from yesterday again...the construction worker from Russia.  He was busy layin' concrete sidewalks.  It is so difficult talkin' to people when you can't understand many times I wondered what I was agreein' to or shakin' my head at.

But I was able to pick up on several different things...

1.  I am supposed to have four wives.  It's like eating food.  You know, oranges, meat, broccoli, and cheese.  How do I know what I like unless I try them all?  But no more than four.  Five is too much.

2.  It is ok to have four wives, but do not like a wife who does the "jiggy-jiggy" with other people.  That is "very bad."

3.  Try out the Muslims.  As a matter of fact, I am invited to the mosque tomorrow at 2:00 P.M.  As an American, I am told Muslims are "bad bad bad," when really they will give me food to eat when I go to their countries.

So I guess all in all, I picked up on quite a bit!  And I'm serious about the food illustration in #1.  Couldn't have made that up if I tried.

Well, from there I took the bus back to home.  Or, well, tried to.  I was tired of walking, so I figured I would spend the Euro on a trip.  Well, I didn't care to check the bus number, and sure enough, he took a turn the opposite way of home.  I figured it would all correct itself at the end of the day, but I couldn't have been more wrong.

After nearly bein' the last one on the bus in a place I had never seen before, I got off the bus.  I saw the mountains, so I just started headin' for those.

Somethin' like 4 miles later and an hour and a half later, I was back at home.  But I got to talk to more people!  And, oh, how I love those accents!  "Can you tell me how to get to Red Cow?"  I got the "You can't get there from here" looks...but it all worked out.

I took a nap when I got know, not enough sleep the night before...but was awakened by a phone call...

"Andeee?"  I love how Anna says that.


"Andeee...your friend is here!  11:15 at the airport.  You must pick up."

Ruble is comin' to town!

So I take the 30 minute train into town, wait 25 minutes for a bus, then take the 30 minute bus with Anna, and we wait for Ruble!

After about another 45 minutes, he comes out of the terminal area...and he looks like he's been through...well, that bad place.

Turns out he was arrested this morning, detained, interrogated, fingerprinted, kicked out of a country with a big "X" over the country on his Passport.  That's my boy!  Actually, seriously, he looked like he just needed a place to stay for awhile and not worry about anything.  My thoughts were, "I don't want to look like that!"  You could just tell he had a memorable but rough week.

And his face was skinny!  I guess livin' off of granola bars only does so much for a guy...

But we talked, hugged, and enjoyed an exciting train ride home.  I don't know...for me, it's been an easy trip so far.  Very enjoyable...very slow-paced...very relaxing.  And I've said it already today to Anna, but I could just see myself settlin' down somewhere.  I don't need to travel, travel, travel.  It's fun, but there's somethin' nice 'bout just stayin', too...

Well, the day wasn't over quite yet.  We rolled in a lil' after 1:00 A.M.  I started cookin' some pasta...and then Ruble's phone rang.

Instantly you could tell it was bad news.  I waited for him to hang up and only had to ask one question...

"Who was it?"  (not that had called him...but that had died).  You could just tell.

Turns out Ruble's best friend from high school was killed in Iraq today.  I don't even have enough words for that.  I offered my condolences, but he needed time to himself, which I was glad to give him.

It's hard to explain, but I'm really glad he got the call with Anna and me around...not that it softens the blow at all...but it's just nice to have people that care about ya around when that happens.

He's in bed now, and I'm deeply saddened with him.  This war doesn't really hit home until a phone call like that.  And then it's as real as it ever could be.  It's real tonight.

Well, another day in Ireland.  It's crazy just how much happens to one person in a given day...and to think that I left some out.  Like goin' to Killarney...or Houth...or Westin...

But we'll see.  Maybe tomorrow holds climbing a mountain???  I really want to do that.

Or maybe just a low-key day with a friend.  Because that sounds really good, too.

2007-08-17 01:21:49 GMT

1 comment:

  1. Author:Anonymous
    Tell Ruble I'm sorry. Thats horrible. And I'm glad you were there when he got the call, too.

    And was he really arrested?
    2007-08-17 02:58:12 GMT
    Andy, will you give Matty a hug from me and tell him that it is from his adopted momma. thanks. ~ 'becca
    2007-08-18 03:34:27 GMT