Saturday, August 13, 2011

{backpacking 2}: a limerick for limerick

june 12, 2011: limerick, ireland

dear man at the travelodge desk,
your hotel is not the best.
in fact it's the worst, 
we feel very curst,
as all of our plans are now messed

ahhh limerick.  what a joke.

so we take the bus to limerick.  and then we have to get a taxi because the hotel we reserved which said they were within walking distance of the bus station is NOT within walking distance of the bus station.  and it's pooooouring rain.  (and none of us have umbrellas.  that goes without saying, as who in their right mind would bring one backpacking?  okay plenty of people do, but we aren't those plenty.)  we look for lunch because we've had none.  everywhere's closed because it's sunday and because it's ireland (really there were a shocking amount of closed stores in ireland everyday).

so instead of eating we taxi to the travelodge...
which is a hotel...
which means internet and phones and food...

we check in....

CAROLYN: so we need to make a reservation for a bus tour to the coast tomorrow...the information pamphlet said you could do that for us?
MAN AT THE TRAVELODGE DESK: unfortunately i cannot, but you can use our internet or call them yourself.
CAROLYN: okay, how do i use the internet?
TRAVELODGE MAN: you open your laptop's wireless and it should come up.
CAROLYN:: i don't have a laptop.  is there a computer room here?
TRAVELODGE MAN: unfortunately there is not, but we have that [archaic] computer [with only a trackpad and no chair] in our lobby that you can use.
CAROLYN: great, thanks.
TRAVELODGE MAN: oh!  excuse me, unfortunately you have to pay.
CAROLYN:: how much?
TRAVELODGE MAN: a euro for 5 minutes
CAROLYN: [a stare that says "are you KIDDING me."]
TRAVELODGE MAN: [aggravating smile]
CAROLYN: well maybe i'll just call on the phone in the room.  do you have the number?
TRAVELODGE MAN: unfortunately no.  you can get it off the bus tour's website though.  oh and unfortunately you have to pay to use the phone in your room.

of course, this entire conversation is going on over the two computers at the concierge desk, neither of which are occupied.  (roll my eyes at man whilst we take the elevator up to our room.)

and it's pouring rain.  which is kind of the worst part of all because it's only our second day traveling and we're all gungho to ... you know ... see sights and meet people and be in IRELAND!  but there is nary a person out in the rain, and any sight we want to go see will require another taxi ride, which i'm guessing the concierge man A) cannot call for us and B) doesn't have the phone number for.

so instead we spent the sunday doing what we probably should have been doing in the first place: reading and writing in our journals and having discussions about happiness and where it comes from and what we can change in our lives to have the kind of happiness we chase.

oh and we played cards.  (cards is one of the few things i'm incredibly competitive about.  i mean, i guess i'm kind of competitive about some things, but not incredibly.  cards, it's incredibly.)

and also i've got my blue suede shoes (literally, my tennies for the trip are blue and suede), and somehow that makes everything better, knowing i'm walking around ireland like this:

but WITH blue suede shoes.  lovely.  i mean, there really are no other words for it.

(sorry people of ireland.)

(ireland was the coldest of all the places we went...this is a sweater that someone left at our flat in london after moving out, so i knew i'd be okay throwing it away after ireland...backpacking is all about minimizing load and getting rid of stuff as you go.  this one i ended up leaving in paris the first time through.  at the hipotel.  which they later thanked me for with bedbugs and disease-showers.  but more on that later.  i will say this about the sweater: maybe it's a ferocious color of blue, but wow was it fleecy and warm.  i never wanted to take it off.  plus i mean, it just got along so well with my yellow pants.)

dinner that night we walked to a pizza place (i know, kinda lame to be in ireland and not eating at pubs, but the travelodge was unfortunately in the middle of nowhere, and the pizza place was all we could get to sans taxi.  the pizza was good, and we met some 17 year old boys who thought we were 40 so i mean, what more could you ask for out of dinner?)

the lesson learned today:  guaranteed you will have some travel (and life) days that just flat out don't work the way you'd planned.  you can't get the info you need or the reservations you need or the transportation you need.  learn to cut your losses and just enjoy wherever you are!

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