For a place that I really don’t like all that much, I’ve visited Dublin many times this year. Of course, there are always good reasons. The most recent time was last weekend, at the end of my holidays, and the reason was to meet up with some dear friends of mine from World Interplay 2009, David and Ira. It was 8 months since I’d seen David, and almost 2 years exactly since I’d seen Ira.
I got in on the Friday evening, and decided to take full advantage of the fact that I was in a ‘big’ city, by using all the vital amenities provided by said metropolis. In my world, this means going to the cinema and seeing theatre. After dumping my bags at the hostel, I headed out to find a cinema that was showing THE FINAL Harry Potter movie (so, any of them). I was very hesitant about seeing this film. When the last book came out, I went into a mild depression for about a week, seriously struggling to see what else in life I had to look forward to now that the series was completed. My father, God bless him, was very sympathetic, considering he hates the books, and told me he could ‘understand’ how I was feeling, and ‘could imagine’ what it might be like. Friends made practical suggestions of other series and authors that might fill the gap – Phillip Pullman, Neil Gaiman. Eventually, I got over it, but not after many hours spent on the couch eating large muffins, re-reading the book (and especially the ending), and poring over J.K. Rowling’s website in the hope that she might make reference to a possible prequel or continuation of the series with Harry, Ron and Hermione’s kids. Most importantly, the only thing that got me through the devastating end of the book series, was the thought that I still had 3 more films to enjoy.
So, going to this film by myself, and knowing that my friends wouldn’t be meeting me until the next day (and that neither of them were huge Potter fans either), made me slightly worried. However, I was desperate to see the film, it had been out for 2 weeks, and it seemed a sacrilege that I, as such a devoted fan, had not seen it yet. As a preventative measure, I bought a ticket to see Brian Friel’s ‘Translations’ at the Abbey Theatre, which started 45 minutes after the Potter film finished. I figured if worst came to the worst, I could always go out and buy a couple of ciders and a block of chocolate and drink/eat in the hostel common room. So, I took myself off to the cinema.
I spent most of the film sobbing, and left the cinema more than a little wrung-out. I still do feel a little emotional about Snape (that was one mighty fine twist Rowling had going), but that might just be because it was Snape/Alan Rickman. BUT, the good news is, that I must have gone through a slow, unconscious process of ‘letting go’ between 2007 and 2011. So, whilst I felt wrung-out, I also felt that life could go on. And, more than that, life could go on at the Abbey Theatre in front of ‘Translations’. I was very relieved.
‘Translations’ was great, a very fine play, with some decent acting, though perhaps a little hammy and demonstrative at times. Its kind of a play that lends itself to demonstrative anyway, big, sweeping, romantic historical drama full of ideas and conversation. My perfect evening out at the ‘legitimate’ theatre.
I ended up going to the pub afterwards anyway for a couple of drinks and some ‘fiddle-dee-dee’ tunes due to some leftover emotional turmoil and anxiety from the past 2 weeks, as well as Harry Potter. I chose a pub I’d been to earlier in the year and had a good time at. The same musicians were there, and I sand along loudly to the music. Some Dutch folk next to me asked if I had come specifically to see these musicians. I had to explain that if you went to enough Irish pubs you would learn the songs, as everyone sang the same ones. Whether it was because they didn’t have great English, or because they were Dutch, they took me exactly at my word and were very shocked. ‘Every pub? Exactly the same songs?’ I had to re-explain but they still seemed confused as to why pretty much the same music would be played every where. I resisted the urge to go on a long explanation about American tourists coming back to Ireland to find their heritage and wanting that to be a heritage they could recognise from movies and ‘Riverdance’, but decided that apart from the fact that their English probably wasn’t up to the discussion, I would sound insufferably smug and know-it-all and, in any case, ‘Whiskey in the Jar’ had just started and I wanted to sing along.
The next day, I woke late-ish a little uncertain what to do until I met with my friends in the early afternoon. I ended up wandering around, buying books, buying stationery and then sitting on St. Stephen’s Green. It was lovely, and I got to do a bunch of people watching, which I do miss, living in the country.
I met the guys after they had seen the matinee of ‘Translations’ and we spent the afternoon wandering around the parts of Dublin that I could actually stand, swapping stories about our lives and experiences overseas. We headed to Temple Bar for dinner, which I had warned them off, but I didn’t really know where else to go. We went to a restaurant named ‘Mexico to Rome’ (that’s right… Italian AND Mexican), which made for an amusing dinner meal, and then headed off to a bar to write a play in an hour. The play is either the most brilliant thing I have ever been a part of or the worst, depending on the way you look at it. It involves wolf-people in the Navajo desert, a giant talking banana and Afghanistan. If anyone is interested in producing it, please let me know and I’ll be happy to pass on the script.
Ira was very enthusiastic because the bar we were in happened to have a gig on from a Baltimore band (he’s from Baltimore), but I was exhausted and ended up walking back to the hostel around midnight. After a lovely sleep-in, we all met up again for brunch, after which we had to farewell David. Ira and I went back to St. Stephen’s Green for more stories swap, and then he also had to catch a bus. I decided to use my time in Dublin to soak up some ‘big city’ atmosphere. I went back to the cinema, saw ‘Bridesmaids’ (very funny), headed out for cheesecake, read my book in the park, got Indian, bought some ciders and kept reading my book.
The book I was reading, if you’re interested (and you should be, because it was fantastic), was ‘One Day’. Its coming out as a movie soon, but I suggest you get in and read the book before you see the film. Its great. I couldn’t put it down, finished it in 2 days, and was heartbroken at the end. I feel more than a little affection for it, because the girl in it kind of reminded me of myself, in that she starts out being kind of lost and uncertain of what to do with her life. She ends up being fabulous and successful though, so I liked the book especially because of that.
Anywho, I took the bus back to Cork the next day, more than a little apprehensive about going back to work, but happy that I’d had such a wonderful holiday. I am mightily tempted to pack in the au pair job I have started in September, run up a whole heap of bills and just bum around Ireland for 6 months. I have a feeling I’d get bored, otherwise I’d definately do it.