I grew up in a suburb outside of Boston, but even there the Irish presence was really big, thanks to the Celtics, the Mc or O’ last names, and the people who liked to talk about their Irish heritage. I never got that: I don’t watch basketball, and my last name, Falcone, tells anyone all they need to know about my Italian heritage.
But even if I don’t have the Irish roots (I mean that figuratively and literally—I am not a ginger!), I did have the Boston thing going for me. I saw The Departed in theaters when it came out and I listened to the Dropkick Murphy’s before that movie and, well, I just got used to seeing green shamrocks on everything.
When I go to Dublin tomorrow, I’ll be able to own my Boston Irish background, even if it’s not actually mine. I’m interested to know if the Irish are better at placing the city on a map or at least recognizing it better than the French have been—and considering I get more of a response when I say I live in Philadelphia (Tom Hanks! Eagles! ROCKY!!) than when I say I’m from Boston, it won’t be hard to top.
It’s funny, really, because I never was dying to go to Ireland like people I went to high school with or even one of the girls on my study abroad program (my fellow shame-eating friend Lily from the cheesecake post). Lily also goes to Drexel, along with the two other girls I’m going to Dublin with (the same ones I went to Oktoberfest with, actually) and over the summer we’d meet up to try and plan trips and name our top destinations. This was how we all agreed to go to Munich. But Lily’s number one choice was Dublin, and I was kind of meh about it because I was gung-ho on going to Stockholm or at least Copenhagen.
However … once I started into looking into transportation (pricey!) and language problems (what the hell is that letter?) and money (how the heck to I exchange money?), the dream of going to Scandanavialand became less and less intense. And once I started living in a foreign country and started dealing with translation and culture shock issues on a daily basis, the idea of going to a country with the same language became more and more appealing. I’m not that proud of that, but it’s true.
We got the idea to go to Dublin for our week-long break after I met some Irish guys and told my friends about how fun they were and that kind of reevaluated Dublin for all of us. I think we booked the trip a week or so after that.
What am I looking forward to the most? Touring the Guinness Storehouse, of course! But we’re going to be there for eight days, and we bought a reduced-price pass to go to over 34 cultural attractions in Dublin for free … let’s just say I totally plan on getting my money’s worth! I’m pretty easygoing when it comes to the other things we’ll do, but we’ve already decided on Guinness Storehouse, Trinity College (mostly to see their awesome Harry Potter-esque library), and picnicking by the beaches.
PLUS: I WILL BE IN DUBLIN FOR HALLOWEEN!!!! We didn’t even plan that and actually didn’t even realize it until recently, but Parisians don’t really celebrate Halloween and the Irish do.
The weather’s supposed to be blah and in the 40s (Fahrenheit—still haven’t gotten the hang of Celsius) but that just means we’ll have to sit by the toasty fire while enjoying a pint at the pub!
I fly out tomorrow night, leaving Paris at 10:30 or so. I’m a little nervous because I’ve heard horror stories about Ryanair and I get nausea and motion sickness very easily. But maybe I’ll contract the luck of the Irish and not have any troubles!
I will be bringing my laptop to Dublin—can you believe I have to register for next term’s classes while I’m over there on vacation?!?!—so hopefully I’ll be able to put a couple blog posts up.