It turns out most of the stuff self heard about the Irish are not true.
For one thing, the Irish are really direct. They don’t mince words. If they don’t like you, you’ll know it. In about two minutes.
This is a good thing. Because, after all, who has the time? Why tie oneself up into knots trying to figure out this or that or the other thing? If self wants a wake-up call, she’ll go straight to Ireland.
But when an Irish person smiles at you, it’s like the sun! Self is NOT KIDDING! It’s better than when a Californian smiles at you because it’s not a politeness thing, it’s a sincerity thing!
Self is also really grateful that she did not push through with her decision to cancel her subscription to Condé Nast Traveler.
In her periodic attempts to simplify her life, self tries to get a grip on all her magazine subscriptions.
She must have at least 20.
The one big thing she decided to cancel this year was The New York Times Book Review, which she’d been subscribing to for at least 20 years. That subscription was over $100, who wants to keep subscribing to a thing one has barely enough time to read?
She wavered quite a while over Condé Nast Traveler. She is impatient with the articles that seem geared exclusively towards possessors of the Gold American Express card. But, in contrast to the NYTBR, the cost of a year’s subscription to Conde Nast Traveler is only $12. That’s $1 per month. Even though self barely had time to read it, especially in the past year, she did stumble upon an article about “Hidden Gems,” one of which was Ballyvolane House in County Cork, Ireland. Where self is spending tonight and tomorrow night.
The minute she walked in the door of the house (built in 1728, originally Georgian style but now Italianate — don’t ask self to explain, she’s reading this from a book she found in her room), she felt she’d landed in the middle of a Merchant & Ivory movie. No, it was better than a Merchant & Ivory movie. Because she was in it.
She arrived back in Dublin last night. Thank God her Aer Lingus flight was uneventful. Dublin was pouring rain. She made it by bus to O’Connell Street, but there were no taxis. She got to Inchicore drenched to the skin, an hour before dark. She stumbled out for Chinese take-out, then lugged everything on the train for Cork (from Heuston Station) this morning. But — heavens to mergatroid — self is getting good at this! Not even man-handling two full-to-the-brim rollies and a purse and a laptop threw her the slightest bit off-schedule. Not the slightest bit.
Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.