Jul. 6th, 2008

stevenpiziks: (Ireland)
I'm splitting this one in half because it's so long.

Tuesday

This is weird, but I’m actually feeling ready to go home.  It’s because everything is so unfamiliar and I’m alone.  I don’t even have Internet access, so I can’t check e-mail or my blog.  I like being here; I just wish everything weren’t a challenge.  Though compared to being in Ukraine, everything here is a breeze.  I speak and read the local language, understand the money, and know how to shop perfectly well.  Getting around is the difficult part.

Ireland has public transportation, but it’s pretty much confined to large cities.  I asked Siobhan about trains to Quin, where there’s a bunch of prehistoric stuff I wanted to visit, and she said they aren’t any that she knew of, though there are some buses.  On the radio, I head a talk show about cars and the environment, and one of the speakers pointed out that Ireland is second only to America in dependence on the automobile.  So outside of Dublin, it’s drive or stay home.  That’s what’s a bit difficult.  Driving is a challenge, a scary challenge.  Every time I go around a curve and find a car coming toward me, it looks to me like I’m in the wrong lane and I’m about to get into an accident.  An automatic jolt of panic hits me, and I have to forcibly remind myself of two things: 1) that I’m not going to get hit, and 2) to stay in my current lane and not swerve into the other one.  In cities, it’s worse.  Trying to negotiate turns is really hard because everything is screwed up for me.  If I want to turn right, I have to cross the intersection and pull into what twenty-five years of driving instinct tells me is patently the wrong lane going the wrong way.  When it’s a busy intersection, there’s no time to think or figure things out, so I often make a wrong turn.  It’s a difficult, nervous business, and the stress tires me out.

Today, I decided to go back to Knowth.  I didn’t feel the need to see Newgrange again, but I did want to look at Knowth a second time.  Later, I was glad I did.
stevenpiziks: (Ireland)
I heaved a fast right and followed the usual narrow, hedge-lined road.  This one was also steep, steep, steep.  I found myself in an empty car park at the top of the hill.  A low stone wall with an iron gate in it stood guard.  Past the gate was a wide, green field of grass.  In the middle of the field sat a pairs of ruined stone buildings.  One of the buildings was surrounded by a graveyard.

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