Hello, all. I’m in Cork now. Brian and I spent the last two nights in Tramore – a little beach community about 150km from Cork. I’ll write more about my experiences there soon, but below you’ll find my most recent writing. cheers
tuesday night, a little after eight pm, back seat of a bus eireann coach en route to tramore
“Beach Haven Hostel. Can I help you?”
“Yes, do you have any beds tonight?”
“Sure do, when will you be arriving?”
“I’m not entirely sure, I just left the bus station in Dublin and am heading towards Waterford.”
“Oh wow. Yes, we have rooms, but you have a good long ride ahead of you. Most likely, close to three hours.”
Little did this hostel owner know that less than 24 hours ago I got off a bus after a five hour ride from Donegal to Dublin. Bus Eireann has kind of been my own, personal coach during this past week. I question why I let the occasional, smelly passenger on my bus.
Today, I conquered the Irish bureaucracy (I hope). After I obtained a new letter from USIT and a letter from face2face, the Dublin PPS office was willing accept my application for a PPS number. It should be posted to my home (aka USIT’s office) in the next week. Brian and I celebrated with a trip back to PG’s bar and rewarded our efforts with a midday Irish breakfast and a €3 pint of Guinness.
After this, we made our way across the city to the Old Jameson Distillery. I wasn’t entirely impressed with the actual tour. By the Old Jameson Distillery, they actually mean the old Jameson Distillery. Today, Jameson whiskey is actually produced in a distillery near Cork. Our €8 tour consisted of us being directed through rooms that were made up to resemble a distillery. The highlight of the tour was our tour guide – Christian felt inclined to drop a cheesy joke in each scripted speech he presented.
Thank John Jameson for the tasting portion of the tour. During Christian’s introduction, he asked for volunteers, three men and three women. He was looking for individuals who would be willing to take part in a sampling of whiskeys at the end of the tour. He struggled to get three women in the group of thirty or so to raise their hands. When he finally secured his three female volunteers, he asked for three men to volunteer from the audience. My hand went immediately up with about twenty others – luckily, I was quicker to the draw. At the end of the tour, I sat down with the five other brave souls to a placemat that contained five whiskeys – Scotch Whiskey, American Whiskey, Jameson, and two other Irish whiskeys. Before we tasted each sample, he told us what to look for in the scent, the taste, and the aftertaste. To be true, with the exception of the Scotch, they all tasted the same. Needless to say, this portion of the tour resulted in me walking away quite impressed with the Old Jameson Distillery.
After stopping in the USIT office this morning, I made my way to a coffee shop just off of the O’Connell Street Bridge in Dublin City Centre. As I was paying for my coffee, the man taking my money noticed my Iowa Drivers License. “Iowa!” he exclaimed. “I was in Cedar Rapids three or four months ago for a wedding. We partied in Iowa City the night after the wedding. Have you been there?”
“I just moved from Iowa city about two weeks ago,” I told him.
What a small world we live in.