October 24, 2017. Dublin, Ireland.
The key to the luggage room was attached to a small, dirty leprechaun, which I would have labeled deeply problematic if not for the fact that everyone else involved was far more Irish than I am. My liberal arts education had not prepared me for a situation in which I was so abruptly devictimized. In a fog of sleep-deprived indignation, I stashed my pack in the luggage room, heartened by the obvious lie that it was under 24/7 CCTV surveillance. The dour lad at the desk told me my room wouldn’t be prepared for another 6 hours or so, although I was welcome to some dry bread.
I thanked him from his generosity, but having just eaten an entire pig farm at The Pantry, I declined and decided to see what center city Dublin was like once anything was open.
There’s an Oscar Wilde monument outside of Trinity College, and that seemed to be the place to start. Mamaduke’s maiden name was Wilde and I’ve always had an affinity for Uncle Oscar’s writing. The tragedy of the modern world is its lack of drolleries.
I found him in a park that cropped up, sudden and dissonant, next to a highway that consisted entirely of kitschy St. Patrick’s Day trinket shops and coffee houses.
And beneath it, a Seneca quote, which I obviously couldn’t pass up.
The sun had risen now, and I had my bearings, so I decided to head back into town and maybe scope out some of the crypt cafes I’d heard so many Google Maps about. On my way there, though, I stumbled upon what was explained by a tour guide as as “Dublin’s sort of unofficial mascot”: sweet Molly Malone.
I was overcome with emotion.
And then, as if this wasn’t enough, I got a little unscripted bonus at the end. Truly, Ireland is a lucky, lucky place.
More to come.