Dublin Dublin Dublin…

It has been a long time since my first real update on the blog… there was a 2-3 week period where it was just not working, then for the last week I have been in Dublin, Ireland and never got around to an update.

I am on the plane from Dublin to Vienna, Austria now where I just have a 1 hour stopover and then am on to Moscow, Russia… so here is what I have been up to in Dublin:

I chose to go to Dublin as it is one of the closest areas in Europe to North America, thereby making the flight shorter, which is always a preference for me. As well, I got a very cheap flight from Air Transat from Toronto to Dublin (5.5 hour flight) for less than $300 CDN, so took advantage of that also.

Air Transat has this ridiculous thing they put on their tickets: they say that you are supposed to be at the airport THREE hours prior to departure. I don’t know if this is a typo or what idiot made this rule, but this has to be the most ridiculous rule I have ever seen of any airline (surprise, surprise… Canadian airlines that have ridiculous rules and bad service? Of course, Canada is a communist state and therefore is subject to 3rd class service for all). Anyway, I ignored the rule of course, but wanted to err on the side of cautiousness so still showed up at a ridiculously early 1:45 before the flight, which of course also meant that I was just sitting at the gate for nearly 2 hours for no reason.

However, the point of my ramble is that apparently most of the people do actually show up for Air Transat flights the ridiculous 3 hours before departure, so the whole ‘economy’ class was full by the time I got there, so I got upgraded to ‘economy plus’ which is their business class. I’ll say this much, if this is ‘economy plus’, I’d hate to sit in economy, because their economy plus seats had legroom that anyone above 6’2 couldn’t possibly squeeze into.

Anyway, I could go on criticizing Canada, but will resist. I’ll suffice it to say that I spent 3 weeks in Canada and was literally counting the hours by the end to get out of that country. It was nice to see many of my friends and family but me and Canada just don’t get along.

So, I went to Dublin.

Dublin is nice. Ireland is a very, very small country. The total population of the entire country is 4 million. In China they would call that a cul-de-sac.

I have a friend who is from there and lives there sometimes… I met him in Bangkok and he is a really nice, cool guy. He actually produces music videos… he has done some great work, you can view it at www.scottaltman.com. He may be doing Franz Ferdinand’s next video…

I was in Ireland nearly 6 days, but spent a total of one night and part of one day outside of my hotel room… it was a mixture of wanting to get a lot of work done, and, as per last year, jet lag. Even as I write this at 5pm I am so tired I can barely keep my eyes open, but I think I am nearly adjusted… but now I am going to Russia, another 3 time zones East, so I’ll likely have a few more days of jet lag to get over yet again.

I went out on Saturday night with Scott… its always nice to arrive in a new place and have a friend who is a total local show you around. We went to some okay places, none of them were all that great really. I will say this though, in general, Irish people are very friendly and nice… quite a bit different than my experience in Scotland where I am pretty sure a few guys tried to pick a fight with me (I am not sure though because I absolutely could not understand one word any Scottish people said). In Ireland though I found I could understand their accent, although it is very strong.

I have heard there are some attractive girls in Ireland, but if there were, they weren’t out on Saturday night… so we ended up cutting the night fairly short around 2am and headed to one of the many casinos there to play poker. I played for about 2.5 hours at a no limit game, starting with 200 euro, and walked out with 750 euro (approx. $700 profit), so a pretty good night. As was the case when I played in Prague, one or two of the guys at my table were older (40’s, maybe 50’s), all tattooe’d out, and had the look of some kind of mafia… as with Prague, I ended up taking most of their money… and as with Prague, I had to massage my way out of there… I actually wanted to leave when I was up around $400, but I had won so much so quickly off them that I did not want to appear like I was just going to take their money and run, so thought I’d play a bit longer… but I just kept winning… I had a few good hands, but in general they played very poorly and were practically just giving me their money. So by the end I was up over $700 and it was 6am and I luckily got called at that time to move tables (there were 4 active poker tables) so I took that as my opportunity to get out before I caused too much more attention.

The whole time I was in Dublin the weather was very nice, so I was really lucky because in general the weather isn’t that nice there. Even on their hottest day of the year though (usually sub 30 degrees) their nights are still quite chilly.

As with most places, it looks quite nice when it is a beautiful 27c sunny day and Dublin did… it looked really nice… it was an enjoyable city to be in. I even made it to the outskirts of the city to go to the Russian Embassy to get my visa and it was even nicer out there.. nice quaint little shoppes, lots of greenery and an overall nice vibe.

And I think Irish guys are basically always drunk, any time of the day or night… I don’t know how many times (many times in the afternoon) I would see a guy walking down the street and just start puking… like it is VERY commonplace there!?!

In general everything there is quite expensive though… I don’t know what it is about the UK & Ireland that things are so expensive there, but they are. It was difficult to find any decent hotel in Dublin much below $125 USD… a meal at McDonalds or Burger King for one person would cost about $10 USD…

And a word of warning if you are coming here, do NOT take the taxi’s from the airport to Dublin downtown… it is only about a 15-20 minute ride but it cost me $45 USD… I later found out the bus is $2 and almost just as conveient and quick. On my return to the airport from Dublin’s city center (O’Callaghan Street) I grabbed the bus. Here is a pic of me on the bus.

So, that’s it from Dublin… a fairly quiet week… looking forward to Russia which I have no idea what to expect (which is always the best way).