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During my travels, my compensation for free accommodation for one night, was for me to write a daily travel diary. Of how I got to my next location, the people who would host me, the food I was offered and everything else. Below you find the archives of the highly extensive reports. Know that English is not my native language and most reports were written at high speed around midnight. Enjoy.

Sunday, 24 June 2001
--> Dublin (IRL)

About getting from one place in Dublin to another and staying with the Spanish Lluis.
I woke up and saw a clock make his round. It was nearly 1pm before I got out. Jim had to turn on the boiler for the shower, so we first had a ‘brunch’ with bacon and eggs.

When I got fully dressed Jim and I got settled for the story he wanted to write about me for the Evening Herald. So we sat down in his living with coffee and cigarettes and while Jim had his little recorder on, I answered all his questions.

I expect the article to be published coming Tuesday and the newspaper will be available everywhere in Ireland as it is the only evening paper.

I am really probing for the impact of the story, because I could use more places-to-stay in Ireland.

Around 4.45pm we left the house in this quarter called Oxmantown. I was fully packed again and after I would leave Jim for my next host, he decided to go for a drink with some friends of him in a pub in the city centre.

It was okay for me, especially as Jim told me it was only a twenty minutes walk.

But I already learned that: when English or now even Irish people say that some location is only so many minutes away, double it. No, triple it! I don’t know how they do it themselves, because I never rush it within the doubled time.

After walking some miles from his house to the city centre, Jim told me: “Oh, you know: I have this thing with getting lost.”

He actually meant: we were on the wrong spot to go to that pub where I was supposed to meet this bunch of his friends.

So we walked another mile, over the river Liffey again and walked through the famous pub street Temple Bar.

When we arrived at a certain pub, Jim reminded it again. “No, it is not here. It was on the other street where we just came from.”

(Wasn’t I right about doubling the time people say it will take?)

It was 5.15pm and around 6 o’clock I had to meet my next host who also lives in Dublin, but in a complete different district.

And the sun was burning its afternoon heat on my head while I walked with my heavy rucksack. I almost begged him that I preferred to stay here, at least for a drink.

When he got inside the wrong pub Jim decided to buy some drinks and bring me to the bus stop around 5.40. I would easily make it, he said.

And to tell something about the pub: I have always expected to be in a completely different environment as I visited a pub, but I still don’t see any actual differences with different countries. Well next to music: In Britain an Ireland is only music when it is played live, but on the European mainland music supports the mood in pubs.

After the drinks we crossed the O’Connel Bridge again and passed Trinity College. At this college, Dublin’s greatest treasure, the Book of Kellsa 9th-century illuminated manuscript of the four gospels, is housed in the Old Library.

At the moment there were more tourist getting in there than students. But I appreciated the story Jim told me about the College and I knew I wouldn’t get in by lack of time.

At 5.45 my bus to Ranalagh, a southern part of Dublin departed from a nearby bus stop.

I only knew I had to go to the Ranalagh Triangle, whatever that was, everybody seemed to know it in Dublin. It ended up as just being a traffic triangle, commonly known as a meeting point for strangers.

When I arrived in Ranalagh, I met my next host Lluis Ballester within a minute! He was already waiting for me, and lived just around the corner.

Lluis (as: You-Is) lived on the Spanish Island Majorca until his 18th year. His Irish mother found him a summer job in Ireland. When he finished that after three months, he called home to tell his parents he would stay in Ireland.

After one year of studying Philosophy and History on Majorca, he’d start a new study in Ireland.

Lluis is now 20-years-old and software developer at Octagon Technologies in Dublin. He will be starting a software engineering course at the university in October, but he’ll continue to do both his work and study on a part-time basis.

I dropped off my stuff in one of the small two rooms he lives in, in a small student hall. One is his bedroom; the other one is his living room and kitchen. Well… kitchen? There is no gas connection, only an electric kit, good enough for one pan and still he pays over 400 Irish Punts for the space.

We both weren’t hungry yet and he explained me he didn’t have an Internet connection at this place, because he just moved to this place.

When he invited me he lived in April in a much bigger place.

So he decided to go to Octagon and use the computers there. He would had to write some emails anyway and I could do some reporting.

So we went there, walking, while Lluis told me it was only a 5 minutes walk (yes, in real time truly 20 minutes…). Nobody was at the office, it was dark and bloody hot inside, because of the continuously operating servers. As Lluis turned on the lights and opened all possible windows and curtains, I logged on onto my system for some updates.

We just did never ever looked at the clock, but it was after 10pm when we logged off. I even practiced my juggling skills (still with two balls only…).

Once back at his little home, together with the film “Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?” on video rented at the local video shop, I settled in front of the television as Lluis prepared instant pasta.
What else can somebody create on such a little electric roaster?

The movie was really great entertainment. It was about three prisoners (one of them George Clooney) escaping an American prison in the 30’s. While being on the run for the police, their little act to sing a song for some money, turned out to become famous in complete Mississippi.
Mix this story with some hilarious acting and some very unexplainable scenes (even with guest appearance by John Goodman) and the film gets a very remarkable character. Thumbs up!

The film ended at 1am and Lluis got out this folded bench and rolled it out into a bed for me. As soon as I got under the sheet, I said goodnight to Lluis.

And Dublin.


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