A Stone's Throw

practice your aim. you never know when you'll spy 2 birds at once.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

soccer, ale, and the like

October 16 - Kilkenny

And yes Southpark fans can laugh at the name. But respect it, for they brew Swithwicks here. Oh yes.

I have had to buy new shoes. My trusty originals just weren't up to the task of so much endurence being asked of them, and had begun to cut into my feet badly. I tried to make due with a pair of those gel inserts from Dr Sholz, but take my word for it - they're absolute crap. Worthless. They just slide around in the shoe until the shoe isn't wearable anymore. So with a low mood, I bought new hiking boots, which weren't terribly expensive, but are waterproof (Ireland oddly is always wet) and right comfy.

Last night I dined on half of a half-chicken. Which for those playing along at home - 1/4th. The rest I shredded and used as a sandwich on bread I had stole from the free breakfast that morning. Dry, but life-sustaining. Stretching the dollar can be an art, and I'm beginning to be a tradesman. No master by any means, but no apprentice either. But it is a neccessity here as everything is so bloody expensive. They'll charge you for sheets, blankets, toilets, hot water, internet (huge). It's madness. And the socializing just can't be dismissed. And here in Ireland, that means pubs.

It isn't that you have to drink much at all, it is just the inflated prices.

Before I left Dublin for Kilkenny, I stopped off at the National Library. It was a rather simple place, with one main reading and research room, where you can request books and some clerk or other will go fetch it for you. Pretty sweet deal, except I enjoy perusing books manually, but it's thier rules. I chanced to come across a James Joyce exhibit which was likely the best exibition of any one artist I have ever seen. In addition to the grand display, I realized I own a first edition of Ulysses. There under their security glass was the exact copy of the one I have.

Intrigued at their possible worth, as well as the neccessary steps to protect them, I was able to convince the National Library to get me in phone contact with the collections curator who told me that they do indeed have great worth and gave me all the info to protect them properly.

Kilkenny now. Small, quaint, pretty, it's pretty much what I expected a smallish town on Ireland to be like. Lots of pubs (which is always the case), friendly people, and not much hussle and bussle except for the drivers of cars who just can't get how to negotiate through traffic.

I watched several matches today, the best being Chelsea v Bolton, in the lively pub called the Push House. There is something entirely satisfactory about watching a match of soccer in an Irish pub. As a bonus, the pub is right across the street from my hostel, which I can't recall its name. It is a great place, the hostel, with abundant character lining the walls and counters in the form of paintings, posters, newspaper clippings, wall art, bookshelves, et al.

More later...


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