I think I've changed my mind about the group of people I'd rather spend time with. I went out Wednesday to this club called Spy Bar...it was pretty lame. I think partly that was because it was with this Erasmus club thing, which meant that there were a lot of Eurotrash (a.k.a mad sketchy) guys. Also, it was club. I have solidified my negative opinion of clubs. Anyway, I went with Mandy and Paul and Bryan and Folky (a Czech guy who I'd not met before but heard Mandy talk about) and this kid Drew from Vassar. The boys had been pre-gaming in some Merville apartment with a bunch of other people before we left (Mandy and I weren't drinking), so they were already a little scattered when we got there. Mandy was not in a very good mood right off the bat because all the guys ran off godknows where without saying anything to us. Mandy is I think a bit too touchy about being included; she complains a lot about so-and-so forgetting that they were supposed to text her at such-and-such an event or something, where I would just forget it and move on. Whatever, anyway, she was kind of in a funk after that. But eventually they came back and Folky and Drew and Mandy and I were talking, and then Drew and I got into a music conversation and the other two tuned out. So the beginning of the night was pretty good.
Eventually, however, things degenerated into that state where everyone is running around looking for nothing and doing nothing and not having any fun (at least, I never do). I don't know if anyone else knows what I'm talking about, but it happens more with some groups of people than others. It's that time when person A is looking for person B, person B is looking for person C, person C wandered off and ran into person D who drags person C and E to introduce them to person F who isn't actually very interesting so person E leaves and person C doesn't realize until 5 minutes later and goes to try and find them, and person B and A are still running around with no idea what's going on, and all the time I'm sitting off to one side somewhere wondering why we didn't just stay at home and have a few calm drinks with conversation or something else that seems in any way worthwhile. Whatever, the point is, it sucked, no one was anywhere, the music was awful, it was a weeknight, and Mandy and I were tired, so we left around 1:00.
The upshot of all of this is that during the few times I've hung out with Bryan and Paul & Co., the evening never seems to achieve anything. I'm left with an empty feeling of time wasted. While Tommy and crew are perhaps a bit too wild at times, they are at least something. Also, they don't go to clubs. Check and mate.
In other news, I had a grand day out on the town yesterday. I got up bright and early, all set to go wait at the Garda National Immigration Bureau so I could pay my €100 to register with them. On Saturdays, the Bureau opens from 10 to 3 and serves students only, so I figured I'd aim for getting there at 10, and if I was a little late it couldn't be that bad since it's only students.
I was wrong.
I got there at 10:23 and followed the line from in front of the door, around the corner, down the block, around the next corner, and nearly to the end of that block and stood at the back. I stood there for over twenty minutes, and the only time I moved up in the line was when someone ahead of me gave up and walked away. So I gave up, and walked away. I'll try again on Thursday, when the bureau opens at 9:30 and I have class at noon. If I get there maybe 30 minutes before it opens, I hope I won't be late for class.
At any rate, I had several errands I wanted to run while I was in town. I picked up a lot of spiffy yarn, since I have finally finished the socks that I've been knitting since...May? June? (Whatever, they're done now. I'm going to knit up a swatch to use to make sure that they're machine-washable, then send them off to Liz, who I promised them to during Onas pre-camp.) Yes, so I have three new projects to start on. (The first one's first.) I also bought pretty rock climbing shoes for increased success at the wall. (Side note: my belay test is Tuesday, eep!) And I got semi-permanent royal blue hair dye, for use at some future date. I wanted to get my hair cut, too, while I was out, but every salon I saw cost at least €50, which is just ridiculous, especially with the exchange rate like it is. I've been told of a cheaper place that I'm going to try and get to on Tuesday. And I wandered through a lot of interesting alternative clothing shops in the Temple Bar area, but they were a bit overpriced.
At some point (noon) during all of this, I met up with Mandy so we could go to the Liffey and watch some Catholic monks throw red flowers into the river as an expression of solidarity with the people of Burma. It was nice, and there were maybe 50 people there as well with signs and such. I gotta say, though, as horrible as things are in Burma right now, at least they're not as bad as in Congo. The New York Times has an article today talking about the explosion in sexual assault on women there. It is absolutely horrifying, but I don't see it getting as much press. Maybe it's just too bad to face. I can't imagine having to live it.
I can't end on as absolutely depressing a note as that, so instead I will leave you with yet another link in my link-filled entry: something else.
EDIT: Here's an even better finale! I went grocery shopping on Friday and found mac and cheese! IN A CAN! WHAT?!?! Further updates forthcoming on taste and texture quality!