Sunday, November 29, 2009

tuesday, day 6: ireland

oddly, the first thing i did this morning after leaving jaukb's today was visiting the guiness beer storehouse (it was the thing closest to his home). arthur guiness made beer several centruies ago as an alternative to spirits and unsafe drinking water, and its home base in dublin is now open for visitors. there's a huge "pint" that reaches through the top of all five stories that if filled could make 14.3 million pints- yikes!
i was really excited for my next venture: dublinia! it's the epitomy of something tourist, a three level musuem with the bottom being about vikings, the second being about medieval dublin and the third about how to be a good archeaologist. it was SO COOL and ridiculous; i got to write my name in nordish viking. as i was learning vikings used moss to wipe themselves instead of tp, in front of a manequin viking man going to the restroom, with recorded sounds of him grunting what was surely a number two, my camera died permanently. at the end, i climbed to the top of this tower that overlooks the city.
next to it was Christ church, the most famous dublin church where 3 relics of Jesus are kept (thorn from his crown, some piece from some garment, and something else i forgot). i was curious to check them and the place out, but they wanted 6 euros to walk around; i refuse to pay to enter a church. a crypt or special fancy tourist specific thing, maybe, i can see asking donations or charging a small fee, but that just ain't right.
i got my first smoothie in three months!!! and i had an over-enthusiastic conversation with the girl working the counter about my virgin pina colada type goodness, mmm. i miss blenders and all the good things that come from them.
then i wandered around the city, observing tons of groups of irish on strike in front of about a dozen buildings in the area i walked. i went up to a cheerful group of three men and asked them why they were striking and what was up; having been in france for several months and encoutered wayyyy too many strikes, i wondered if this was common and what it was about.
i learned that all the government employees (in literally every sector) had 6.5 or 7.5 % of their pay cut in one year from the economy, and the government wanted to cut their wages again. they want the government to pull from other sources they are shielding, so everyone except the cops and military decided to not work for one day. ireland unions are set up the way the ones in the states are, so there are never really strikes these days; however, this was an exception. i thought it was cool, wished them the best after a lovely chat and got directions to the first museum i wanted to see. i realized, at arriving to a curb full of picketers, that the things closed included every other thing i wanted to do for the day, which sucked.
spent the rest of the day alone in the rain, which was not as bad as it sounds. i discovered a fantastic and cheap store, where i bought some fun things. i also grabbed a great white hot chocolate with marshmellows and whip cream on top- everything yummy you could imagine, even better tasting than it sounds. went back to jakub's, and after a total of over an hour (between the morning and night) of trying to get his shower to heat up for me it worked! then he bought me my first pint of guiness, which was rubbish after a couple sips, and i traded it for his jameson whisky (also from dublin).

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