Ireland has always been a dream vacation for me. There's something about the beautiful landscapes that is striking. If you don't believe me, Google Ireland and be prepared to be sucked in. And, pictures are nowhere close to the real thing. So, when one of my close friends, Marie, told me that we could go for a fraction of the price I jumped at the opportunity. And, yes I have paid full price for trips (and I have the bank account to prove it).
So, we get to Ireland and I'm immediately disappointed. The weather is sticky and our hotel looks like a set in a horror movie. Our beds are lumpy, the light in our bathroom is flickering,and the couple in the room next to us is either having sex or getting murdered. But, we don't really care at this point and all we want to do is crash (notice a pattern?). The morning comes and we get up, determined to seize the day. We go out to breakfast and notice that outside of the café there is a trail of something that looks like blood. We asked our waitress what it was and she said, "Yes, it is blood, those bloody idiots were fighting last night after the pubs closed."
Marie had to go to work, so I decided to explore and took in the beautiful scenery of the countryside. When you get a little bit outside of the major cities in Ireland, there are beautiful views to be seen everywhere (without the smog, noise, and pollution of the cities). So, I'm sitting on top of a hill that looks something like the picture below and I hear crunching behind me, like someone is walking towards me. I turned around and there was a handsome man standing behind me. But, I immediately got an odd vibe from him. I looked at him and said, "Hello. How are you?" He looked at me for a very long time and said, "Fine." Then, he walked away, without looking back. My heart was beating so fast that I thought I was going to have a heart attack. To this day, I have no idea what would've happened if I had never turned around.
Alas, the trip wasn't a total washout romantically, at least for Marie. She met a charming Irishman in a dingy pub who was proud to declare he was "Black Irish", which was hilarious to us because anything is hilarious when you're tipsy. His name was Alex* and when he wasn't slumming it he worked as a history teacher. He showed us a more complete picture of Ireland, including the historical landmarks and ghetto. Alex and Marie kind of dated for four months, but the distance proved to be too much. I say kind of because they never really clarified what they were doing. When I date, I demand clarification.
Despite what happened, Ireland is still one of my favorite countries and I truly hope to go back one day.