Sunday, September 9, 2007

Free Drinks and the Fringe

So after much freaking out and inhaling of dinner, I made it to the Fringe Festival opening yesterday (though I was a little late). Ann Marie and I met up in Temple Bar and power-walked over to Georges Dock where we were just in time to stare at crowds of people for about 10 minutes. We ran into Ann Marie's friend Lisa (another BU student at DCU) and were chatting when we heard the brass band approaching. They were in crazy dressed-up clothes and their instruments were decorated (the tuba and French horn had Christmas lights) and they were playing really well. But then they went away, and the crowds were left again to ignore each other, until the white rowboat came out of the dock. It was carrying several figures, all dressed in white and painted white, and went to each of the 4 bed frames floating in the water and dropped off someone. Then it disappeared, and from what I could tell the people in the beds went to "sleep", as recorded snoring was played. I couldn't actually see much of anything, though, and neither could Ann Marie or Lisa, so we concluded by the end of it that the performance had been totally lost on us. But we walked around a bit and saw some lady doing neat aerial acrobatics on a suspended ring and some guys doing extremely localized parkour, which is not very impressive. And then I got accosted by Tom who was passing by and recognized me (probably the accent, and loud vest I'd been wearing all day) and handed me a stack of programs to hand out to the masses. That was some brief fun.

After the Russian dance troupe was done their water-based frippery, Ann Marie and Lisa and I decided to head over to Temple Bar to find a pub. We ended up at the Vat House, where Ann Marie knows the doorman, a big friendly guy from Boston named Alan who has, we discovered, a pink lighter. We got our drinks at the bar (I had a Guinness) and found an unoccupied bit of floor to stand in - no mean trick at Temple Bar on a pleasant Saturday night. I don't know if the fact that there were a few hen parties at the pub that night had anything to do with it, but the DJ was playing some of the cheesiest music ever. Maggie would've had a ball. Most of it was a bunch of '80s non-classics, which became even funnier after we'd made our new friends of the night.

There was a somewhat older set at the bar, mainly thirty-somethings, and at one point one of them came over to us and told us that his friend who'd just gone to the bar had told him that by the time he came back he wanted us three over by them, so we should switch places so as to kind of pull a prank on him. So we did, and then the two guys left, so when their friend came back it was just us three girls and his friends nowhere in sight. Now, he was clearly just shy (and had seemed rather depressed before), so he couldn't strike up conversation with us until his gregarious friend returned. We then learned that the loud one was Barry, the shy one was Phil, and the other guy was Michael, and we spent most of the rest of the night socializing with them - we even got a pint of Bulmers a piece out of it. They were quite fun and seemed to be totally content with just enjoying the company of 3 college girls who, no, did not remember the music video to the Phil Collins song that's playing right now, no.

When Madonna's "Like A Prayer" came on it was our cue to leave, so we made a graceful exit, and on our way out we passed Tommy coming in. I told him to text me when they were leaving and that we would hang around for a while, since I didn't want to make the trek home by myself and had been planing to sleep over at DCU if I hadn't heard from the UCD contingent. (Speaking of which, John and Kate are not actually a couple, so it's not really funny. Oh well.) Anyway, so Ann Marie, Lisa, and I entertained ourselves with a walk to Burger King at Lisa's request, and chilled on some steps until Tommy texted me.

The trip home was a real adventure. All the cabs' lights were off and Cory (who was with the bunch of UCD kids and spliting the ride with Tommy and Molly and I) was being an ass of a belligerent drunk, so we ended up walking endlessly and eventually getting a ride in this weird van shuttle thing for €5 a pop. My feet still ache.

Today was very laid back. I made another trip to Tesco and bought a bunch of canned soup and veggies and some houseplants, among other things. I also found out how to get mail (it's delivered from 5-7 nightly and packages are kept in reception but slips are given out). It's been a very low-key, relaxed day, which is good, because class starts TOMORROW. Eep! I'd feel more confident if I knew what any of the room numbers were for my classes, but I'm assured that this is the way Irish universities operate and I should just relax and let things happen as they will. Or something.

In other interesting news, the outlets in our suite still don't work, so I'm sitting in the dark in the apartment below mine. I don't know anyone who lives here, but some friendly Irish guy let me in and then left, and there's one other person here who either hasn't noticed me or is ignoring me. I think I should probably leave and go to bed about now anyway, before this gets any weirder.

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