Day 23: Phoenix Park, sweet 'n sour sauce, and Doner Kebabs.
Dublin Travel Blog› entry 23 of 60 › view all entries
I woke up late (no surprise there), finished the Dave Balducci book I've been fixed on (who knew the Supreme Court could be fun?), then headed out on a run out to Phoenix Park, Europe's biggest enclosed park. It was pretty far out west, but rightly so: it was massive. Just when you thought the road you had just crossed marked the end of the park, there'd be another mile to go, and so on and so forth. It was just like the Energizer bunny: Kept going, and going, and going.
I found that running in the little off-road service roads along the trees were much more enjoyable and shady than the main pedestrian traffic lanes. It was sunny, and borderline hot, even! On my jaunt out in the westerly direction, I hit up the big Phoenix Column, where I witnessed some old man with his two unleashed dogs start licking a poor babe lying there taking in some sun with her shirt hiked up. I just laughed. Her belly was whiter than the Banff virgin snow, and so I promptly put on my sunglasses.
I kept on going, having a great time watching the police patrol the grounds on their wonderfully pampered horses. I passed by the president's house, Europe's biggest zoo, and finally hit the end (I think?) at the Papal Cross where the Pope held an open-air mass for a million people in 1979. (Correction about the end of the park, not even close).
As I headed back, it got way hot and so I took off my shirt. All this running and biking and eating European portions has bequeathed me with my wonderful six-pack again. I was gonna show all them Irish that being ripped is the way to go (haha, me, "ripped". Nice one). But, I was at the same time making a statement to all the Irish dudes and girls out there. There's just too many of them that let themselves go. And the girls cake on that makeup, too. Attribute it to the oppressive financial burdens of the past, blah blah blah. I devised a new postulate. I figure it has to do with the weather and location. The farther you are from a beach, the less often you don a bikini, the colder it gets, and the more clothes you put on to hide in. I was happy when I found out that the girls here in Dublin were finally hot, but then my keenly observant New Zealand bunkmate Sam told me that the hot ones are all tourists. Cue balloon deflation sound.
I showered and headed over to the Chester Beatty Library behind Dublin Castle. The mining magnate decided to exhibit all sorts of Oriental and Western religious artifacts into a museum, and it was done well. Like the Mungow Museum of Religions in Glasgow, it was a good exhibit incorporating the world's main religions, although a bit more informative (and dimly lit. Is there a correlation?). There were a bunch of nice Qu'rans and old illuminated manuscripts. Did you know Muslims believe in Mary and Jesus? He's not considered God, but an enlightened prophet instead. Weird.
As I exited, I saw the same aforementioned Sam lying alseep on the grass outside. In the biggest city of Ireland, what are the chances of seeing your bunkmate asleep on the grass with the possibility of playing a cruel practical joke on him? Practically zilch.
I got in nice and close with my camera and stayed there taking pretend pictures, looking like a complete creep until he came to. The look of disorientation and shock were priceless, then once the haze cleared he saw it was me and calmed down a bit ;)
We headed back to the hostel and stopped by the local Dunnes store and picked up some pork medallions and sweet 'n sour sauce. We slowly cooked up a delightful dinner over rice with mixed vegetables. It was great! (By "we", I concede completely to Sam, who did all the work. I just pretended to be doing something important, but the breadth of my help encompassed microwaving some frozen veggies.)
We bullshitted about girls, and his job outlooks here in Dublin (he's an ex-web designer) over some smuggled (cheap) vodka and lemonade. With 2/3 of the bottle left we hit it into high gear, drinking mightily until we we joined up with Alabama boy, Emilia (american acting student), and two boys from Oklahoma, Chad and Colin. Since it was their first day, I gave them jet lag tips and must-sees around Dublin and Ireland. We all headed out to a "local's bar" (read: way too far away from the center of the action), poring over travel stories over pints of Guinness and Bulmer's cider. On the way back, I had a wonderful Doner Kebab (it's pronounced like "dab", not "bob".) Found out Spanish girls are flirtacious, but they make you work for it. Bollocks, I say. If you're gonna give me the eye, I shouldn't have to cross Mt Everest just to get to know you.
Nodded off to sleep, happy to have my $10 laundry done and wondering why I couldn't remember what airline I was flying on tomorrow to Amsterdam.