Bitching Brew

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Under the weather.

Over three weeks back, and the novelty has worn off.

Dublin has been a mixed bag so far. Catching up with long-unseen friends and family has been a blast, and sometimes a little poignant. Much coffee, alcohol and food were spilled. Certain aspects have exceeded my expectations; others haven't even met my cynically low hopes. The rudeness and conservatism of the Irish character are driving me to rage. Also, why are so few people interested in making new friends? Too many people seem jaded; perhaps their youthful enthusiasm has leached into the green groundwater. Public transport is a sick joke. Luckily, I've benefited from the start of a new private operator, providing daytime bus service to the city in half the time of old.

Although a couple of old friends have let me down, some are much the same, and others are better than ever. I expected as much. A few new associates, most notably a charming Canadian girl (on exchange here for a year), have added enough colour and vim to keep my spirit ticking over. I already have a good idea who my core friends are going to be for the next several months. They're a fun and trustworthy set.

I miss the rest of my friends, scattered like salt across the simmering globe: Jen, Rachel, Ewan, Gordon, Meaghan, Genevieve, John, Jess, Dawn, Crystal, Laura, Gerald, Caroline, Susie, Gina, Tara, Clare, the Stephs, James, Paul, Melissa, EeWai, Alex, Shikha, Manuela, Aaron, Paul, Brian, Mark, my little branch of the family in Tennessee, all the funky people I met during two months on the road, and the dozen others I've inadvertently left out.

That's a long list of fantastic people, each of whom I feel privileged to know. Every one of them knows how to cheer me up, make me laugh, and help me out when needed. I'd do (and have done) the same for them. It's a good thing I still have a little bunch of equally awesome friends in Dublin, or I'd be packing my bags for London.

There are bright sides too. My family have been wonderful since I returned; I appreciate them more than ever. Dublin city is more cosmopolitan; the influx of immigrants is finally bearing fruit, sprouting bars, cafes and restaurants a-plenty. After living deep in the continent for a year, I'm loving the sea and the stiff salty breeze. I even like dark evenings on Killiney Hill, struggling in the face of gales and driving rain.

I'm interviewing for a number of jobs at the moment. My year in Canada has put me a couple of rungs above new graduates, so it looks like I'll be getting a well-paid, challenging position. It has to be done, sadly. If nothing else, I promise to do my best to weed out unwieldy sentences and horrible corporate jargon; I tried hard while serving the people of Ontario. Besides the immediate matter of a job, I need to figure out how I'm going to spend the next few years. It would be nice to have one rough plan, rather than the three I'm currently mulling over.

My two-four passed without incident a week ago. I've never had a less significant birthday. Compared with shifting continents, it wasn't worth a glass. I spent the day with my mother and brother; having partied the previous five birthdays away, I felt it was only right. Besides, the previous weekend was a Scots-powered river of liquor.

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