Tuesday, January 14, 2003

These are mere ripples of earlier splashes, though. On Saturday, she saw a pebble go into the pond, and the immediate effect. We had just visited Glasnevin Cemetary (where I had failed to find Phil Lynott's grave) and had decided to make our way back into the centre of Dublin. Had it been up to me I would have walked, because taking a bus involves knowing what destination to ask for, and asking in my English accent for "two to the city centre" is, to me, as insulting as saying "Yes, you little bog-trotter, we may not be occupying your beautiful country any more, but we'll just use it as a place to come for the weekend and contribute nothing to your real economy". I'm funny like that. So we get on the bus, and I mumble "two to the city centre please" and the driver, who was a young guy, said "Two Euro forty, please". All I had was a Five Euro note, so I stuff it in the slot where the money goes. He went mental, and yelled at me not to push it in any further, swung the drivers door open, got out, and frantically started to try and get the note out with a pen or something. "It'll get chewed up by the machine", he screamed. I was facing the front of the bus, and could feel the full force of 80 Irish eyes on the back of my head. I wanted the Earth to open up and swallow me. It took an eternity for him to retrive the fiver, which he gave back to me as if it were a black spot or unexploded grenade. "No notes", he shreieked. I moved to get off the bus, but Helen stood her ground. An auld fellah got up and offered me change of a fiver, bless him. I slid the coins in the machine and painfully made my way up the stairs.

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