Ah, yes. Dublin. I'm afraid I have lost my heart
to that city. But that's for another node. Perhaps a shorter, less detailed, and less rambling node than this is has turned out to be, but let's not dwell on that.
WARNING: May contain several run-on sentences. Do not be alarmed. They were designed that way for a reason.
This node is about the day when I met a big handful of great people, four of whom were actually even Irish. To my knowledge, that is: I understood almost all they said, so maybe they were in fact not as Irish as, say, one of the cab drivers I encountered during my stay. Hmmm... Anyway:
This particular Friday in April I walked up to Temple Bar to find Barnacle's, a hostel in Temple Lane South. I was picking up kohlcass who had arrived from Germany that very same morning. I sat on the curb in the lovely sunshine, jotting down notes in my little notebook. If I don't get things written down I forget, so I try to keep a sort of diary. I'm not very good at it.
Across the street from where I was sitting a young man took up post. I had noticed him when he passed behind me on the sidewalk, and now I noticed that he reminded me of someone. I shrugged it off - until he, some five minutes later - walked over to me and said the magical words: "Would the phrase 'Everything2' mean something to you?"
So that was the first time I met Wntrmute in person. I had seen his picture, so that was why he was vaguely familiar. He told me kohlcass had been delayed, and we decided to find a café and sit down for a while.
Wntrmute is a very cool guy. I kept getting this image of his sentences being already constructed in his mind, patiently waiting in line to be said. He never seemed to hesitate or search for the words, he spoke rapidly, and he was damn funny to listen to at that. Fascinating.
kohlcass arrived, fashionably late. A bit flustered and out of breath after having gotten herself lost on the way. Which is very impressive in a city of Dublin's size. She said some of the nicest words to me that anyone has ever said:
"I can't believe I am actually meeting Dimview!!"
The three of us made our way from Temple Bar to William Street South. After having spent a week in the city doing aimless walkabouts, I felt I knew my way around.
"There's this nice café just off William Street," said I. "Little Caesar's Café. Not too expensive."
But as I led the way I became more and more convinced that I was getting us terribly lost. It was embarrassing - until I looked up and found us standing out side the very café I was trying to find. Of course, instead of just saying in a nonchalant way "Ah, here we are", I beamed like a small sun ever so proud of my pathfinding abilities. Poser I am not. Not a very good one, at least.
After a nice lunch we went further south to meet darl at the corner of St. Stephen's Green and Grafton Street.1
"I'm wearing a fancy scarf." he told Wntrmute on the phone. Well... he was wearing a scarf, but its level of fanciness was debatable. Still, never mind, eh? Anyway he had very fancy, curly hair, so that kinda made up for it. Also he proved to be a restful sight-seeing companion later on, which I may recount in a daylog at some other time.
Since darl was hungry we set out to find a nice place for food and coffee. Again it was up to me to choose the venue, and I wanted to go to "Five". We really got THE LOOK from the waitress when we announced that only one of us wanted to eat. I think Five likes to be an upscale, posh place, and not for shabby coffee drinking poor tourists like us.
"I'll have to ask the manager." she sniffed, and swooped off.
"Well it's not like we are occupying a table that someone else wants," said darl, looking around in the fairly empty restaurant. "They should be happy to have customers at all!"
The manager seemed to agree, and we got our coffee and some food. darl's chips had sugar on them. Tasted very odd indeed, but that was how they served them. Sweetened.
Wntrmute needed to go back to his hotel to check in, so we walked him down to the river. On our way we admired a very beautiful sidewalk painting: a copy of Michelangelo's "Madonna and Child" (seemingly the only free standing painting by the master2). We agreed to meet again later, and then make our way to the Dakota, where we were to join the rest of the noderflock of this Dublin nodermeet.
After looking into Trinity College, where darl studied the Book of Kells, we proceeded to a café in Temple Bar. While we were waiting for Wntrmute to return to us we chatted away amiably. These people are awesomely relaxing to spend time with, and an hour just raced by. Finally kohlcass discovered Wntrmute's attempts to contact us, and managed to send him in the opposite direction of where he was supposed to go, before she threw the cellphone at me with a desperate shriek. Gotta love that girl.
And so we were off to see the rest of the noders.
There was one small problem though: kohlcass wanted to get changed and washed and all that. Which meant that she'd join us at the Dakota later. The thought of her wandering through the streets of Dublin, a dazzled expression on her face, cellphone in hand... it was almost too much. But she wanted to show her independence (they grow up too fast), and so we parted ways.
The Dakota was not very crowded at all. We secured a large table for E2, and hogged chairs from all over the place. We had a good view of one of the doors, and while darl and Wntrmute were very relaxed and collected I jumped all over the place every time someone seemed to be looking for someone. darl (I think it was) took pity on me and bought me a large Guinness to calm me down. I think it was Guinness, but it might have been something else, since I had already learned that Guinness was not quite to my liking. So sorry about that, ye Irish noders.
Quite miraculously kohlcass appeared! She had made her way from Temple Bar to the Dakota with few or no mishaps, and looked to be very happy about that too. Shortly hereafter came a tall, good looking guy who turned out to be JellyfishGreen. Good looking and Canadian, which all but made kohlcass faint. And then, while she was ogling the newcomer Canada boy, someone grabbed her from behind and knuckled her soundly on the head while yelling excitedly: "THIS ONE IS MALTESE!!". IWhoSawTheFace had arrived.
That made up a total of six noders on this Dublin meet: one Maltese, one American, one Canadian, one English, one Scottish, and one Danish noder. The internationality of the meet was overwhelming. What was needed to counter this was some Irishness.
And so they came, one after the other: Cloudstrife, the guy with one of the most beautiful usernames on E2, and his cute non-noder girlfriend Thursday; Haruspex, who had not announced his presence and therefore was a very nice and welcome surprise, and ReiToei who had to, reluctantly, admit that the Dakota was not as crowded as all that, despite his misgivings.
Now I have had this misconception that all or most Irish have fiery red hair. Actually I did see quite a few Dubliners with lovely red hair, ranging from rich auburn to strawberry blonde, but these guys all had more or less black hair! I was dumbfounded. Of course it may be something to do with too much sitting in front of a computer, and... nah. It was probably just one of those things.
Gifts were exchanged - except for those from the Danish noder, who had very meticulously left hers at home, at the dining room table. There were Maltese liquors, American chocolate, and some not-so-Canadian comic books. There was more beer, and this may be the cause of me remembering the rest of the evening less than clearly.
At some point the foreign contingency of the meet relocated to a nearby restaurant. It was late, we were hungry, it was Indian. We had something to eat, despite the confused staff's best efforts to bungle the whole deal, and then we went in search of the Irish noders - who had in the meantime decided to make themselves scarce. Hence we set out on a journey north of the river to find a place called "The Shakespeare", off O'Connell Street. Sounded quite nice, but turned out to be so small and dark and crowded that we, the Foreigners, found ourselves seated in the next door restaurant, without even noticing having left the premises. Odd.
Still, it was charming in its own way. The restaurant had run out of glasses, which meant that darl had the choice to either drink directly from the pitcher (we had ordered water), or share a glass with one of us. Being a resourceful young man he instead fished the tealight candle out of its glass, and used that. The glass, not the candle. Um.
Then JellyfishGreen decided to go home, and that was more or less the signal to call it a night. I was sorry to have to say good bye to him, 'cause I would have loved to chat more with him. Very nice guy, indeed. But there'll be other times.
Wntrmute's hotel was close by, and we said our good nights and waved him off before walking kohlcass home to her hostel - "we" being darl, Iwho, and I. After dropping her off the rest of us shared a taxi, since we were all southbound.
Thus ended this evening. I really never got to talk a lot with the Dublin noders, but I had a great time. I am afraid that most of the gifts brought to the table at Dakota ended up in my posession, as I kinda just swoshed the lot into my purse before we left. Fitting in an ironic way, since I had brought nothing with me...
Thank you, all of you, for a great day and evening. Hope to see you again.
- Can you tell I really enjoy dropping street names?
- See the original here, and the copy here