Well, almost.

How the tiny beep beep of my watch woke me up I will never know.
I knew it probably wasn’t a good idea to stay out until 07:00am this morning, but I did it anyway.

My hidden adventure lobe in my brain was able to beat into submission the jetlag, my logic, and good sense lobe. My friend is leaving Ireland this weekend so I rode along to the city centre for the celebration to see her off properly. I knew that it would be serious since I was with a bunch of Irish, however I didnt expect to watch the sun come up and be crawling home at 07:00am, expected to go shooting clays at a sportsmen’s club with her dad in 2 hours. 🙂

We closed the pub around 03:00am and I actually met many friendly people…English, Irish, and Italians. I am learning, unlike Thailand, that I look the same as all the other white guys here, but once I speak people usually jump into a conversation. I like that, very handy for vagabonding. After we lost a majority of our party to the sleepy monster, 3 of us proceeded out the back door, up some stairs, and into a very nice lobby where the next thing I knew I was being asked for my fingerprints and passport! What the hell….?

It was an all-night casino.

Wow. Sounded like a good idea at the time, so I ponied up my passport, smiled big for the ID photo, and gave a fingerprint or two. Then, once we were official members, we headed up the stairs to try our luck. I didnt even know that gambling was an option in Dublin. I ended up doubling my money at the blackjack table because there were only 3 players and the math was very easy, and as soon as I was up my 40EUR I stood up. Keep in mind that this was a very nice place. The dealer and other players (most in suits and ties) looked at me as if I had just vomited up a snake on the table. Hey…sorry guys….I need this money for more important things, like food!

We ended up on the streets with no hope of flagging a cab, the queues for a taxi were 200 deep on each side of the street, everyone holding their arms out as if the taxi driver would pick their face out of the crowd and proceed directly to them. Instead, we actually hired a horse and buggy and rode in the freezing, open air carriage back to a major intersection away from the pubs, where we were able to flag a taxi almost immediately. Between the 2 transportation options, we spent about 90EUR trying to get home. [gasp]

I rolled out of bed less than 2 hours later and got dressed to go shooting with my host. If I had been shooting for my dinner I would have gone hungry, but I did manage to break a few clays and stay on my feet. Hell, it was an accomplishment not to turn the shotgun around and take my own head off – the way I felt.

After shooting, I stuffed everything into my backpack, slung it on my back, and headed to the train station. I booked a hostel in the heart of Temple bar for tonight (18EUR for a dorm bunkbed – blah!) and somehow managed to get off at the right stop and navigate directly here. Thank God, between the weight and no sleep I was about to topple into the River. The hostel is bleak. Actually, bleak is a compliment for this place. It has all the personality and smell of a urinal cake. There are no common areas, but its a bed which is a blessing because nearly everything in the city is full due to the huge horse show here. Also, it is on the 3rd floor of a building with a pizzeria underneath so I woke up from my nap with hungry slobber all over my pillow.

So far, for only 2 days in this city, I have had quite an Irish experience. I have eaten every meal in pubs, closed pubs on 2 different nights, rode in a horse and buggy (WTF?), gone shooting, met 2 beauty queens, and shared the craic with many people already. I may regret it but I decided already to accelerate my trip to get somewhere cheaper. I went ahead and booked my flight to Stockholm for Aug 20th to play with the vikings. I will have to come back and do europe properly some day, for now I need to get to Morocco and Egypt where I can get killed for less money.