The Book of Kells and a Lack of Boners

Day 33: Saturday November 12th, 2011

I had breakfast and switched hostels closer to the train and bus station, a place called Paddy’s Palace. It is the hostel accompaniment to the Paddywagon tours that I referred to earlier and went on in Belfast (the kinda lame one). The hostel was actually pretty sweet, with free shuttles to the airport and free printing, stuff I needed in the coming days. But, this isn’t the only Paddy’s Palace I would try and stay at…[enter foreboding sound here]

I ventured to St. Patrick’s Cathedral and the nice park beside it. Surprisingly, it didn’t smell like stale vomit. It’s the largest church in Ireland and founded in 1191. It’s also one of two cathedrals in the city along with Christ Church (which has a mummified cat); apparently most cities are supposed to only have one. The things you learn from wikipedia when you know nothing about religion…

After that I returned to Trinity College, the best college in Ireland. It has an impressive array of alumnus that basically make up the Irish writer’s museum (Jonathan Swift, Samuel Beckett, Oscar Wilde, etc.). This time I entered the fabled and tactfully named Old Library to see what the fuss was about with the Book of Kells, a very religious artifact said to have been written in the year 800 according to the exhibit’s website.

There was a lot of information about the ink and engravings, how the cover was furnished, how the book was restored, found, what the images represented in terms of Jesus, and similar information on other religious tomes from the same era (the Book of Mulling, which wasn’t about wine). If that kinda thing gets you hard, you’ll love it. Me, I only got a semi. The lettering and calligraphy of the Book of Kells is awesome/pretty/what have you, but it’s hardly worth 8 euro to see the two pages from the Book on display that particular day. That said, I can say I saw it (so there), which is kind of the reason you do a lot of the things you do as a tourist.

You also got to see the Long Room within the Old Library (from the 18th century), which is what George Lucas modeled a Jedi council room after in the newer crappier films. This, for me, was cooler than the book. It was one of those gigantic arched libraries with the tall ass staircases on wheels you see in Pagemaster, and pretty much every single, dusty, peeling book older than America/Bob Barker and some of which could probably give you the Plague. Across the room were sculptures of famous peeps guarding the books (it’d be worth it to work for the library just to rub a booger on an important looking atlas). It also had an exhibit on Louis XIV going on, which is kinda hot, but it was merely a distraction from one of the coolest libraries I’ve seen (not that that means much).

After that, I met Lucia for a late lunch/early dinner/some good old fashioned awkward tension at, you guessed it, a Brazilian restaurant called Taste of Brazil. This place had Brahma that looked exactly the same as what I purchased in York, damning the beer forever in my eyes. We had some crazy, salty food: a cottage pie with pork, beans with pork belly and jerky, passion fruit mousse, guava marmalade with cheese and chocolate sauce and a fairly large tab. We had a great time trying all of this food, and I got the leftovers (score), but it was clear how little we had in common due to how conservative she was.

We went to The Bank, a really swanky bank turned pub, where I had a beer (a Galway Hooker, in fact), and she had nothing. She said stuff she liked making me happy, but also mentioned that she was waiting for true love to fall into her lap, and in the mean time was getting ready for him by getting pretty and stuff, and that she’ll know when she finds it. She’s only kissed a guy once and it was a waste because they didn’t get married. If I had kissed her the night before, Jesus would have slapped my ass silly. Needless to say, I was very uncomfortable, and it wasn’t because I had a boner. At the time I thought her world view was crazy and that she was a nutter, but I was also probably just upset that nothing would come of the past two days besides a bizarre couple of meals that even now I have a hard time really explaining how awkward they were. She invited me to meet her friends/Team Germany at another bar, but I took this as my cue to get the hell out of there. Plus I had to get up at 6:30.

Look, Lucia is a great girl, pretty, with a cute smile, and I hope Prince Charming/Mr. Right/Santa/Mr. Big stumbles into her knickers some day. I also hope she never reads this.

I returned to my hostel, exhausted, when I chance upon Jazmin from Galway (seriously, it’s a small world) outside of my hostel with a couple guys. She’s about to go out and invites me. I wanted to, but I had an adventure in store for me tomorrow. I thought I would have a chance to party with Jazmin another time, but she’s back in Australia, which is a shame, because she’s cute as hell. And only 18.

Next: The love of my life, Dingle. And no, I don’t mean I love penises. Dingle’s a small town in Ireland.

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