You’ll all be very pleased to note, I’m sure, that I’ve now registered to register, now that I’ve registered. First, I had to register, by invitation, with Trinity in order to officially be a student. So that happened four days before school started. Now, I’ve registered to be part of a group that will go this week to the Immigration Bureau to register with them as required by law. I’m not saying that this system is worse than any other, since it’s the only one I have experienced, but I can’t help but be a little put out by the whole complicated process. But. I guess it’s a taste of what I have to look forward to if I do intend on living abroad long-term. Which I do. The state reinforcing its position of power over you. Over and over and over. Repetition is important.
Repetition is important.
Repetition is important.
In other news, I had a really pleasant week. Last Friday, you may recall, was the wine and cheese social with the comrades from my program. I had a lovely time, ate some wonderful cheese, chatted and socialized, and just generally enjoyed myself. There was, in fact, a substantial surplus of cheese, and so I got to take most of my block of cheese (a wonderful Irish white cheddar with chives) home and partook throughout the week. I do really like the people in my program. They’re great.
On Sunday, I had a lovely visit from a friend. She had been working in England and popped over because Dublin is a cool place. We got to do a lot of the touristy things that I’ve neglected, so that was definitely a lovely bonus. We started with the Book of Kells, which I had seen before but remains exquisite. We briefly looked around Dublin Castle which, honestly, isn’t super castley except for a big tower next to the chapel. Fun fact, the Irish ‘crown jewels’ (being the Order of St Patrick) was stolen from the castle some 300 years ago. And never recovered. Ever. Poor Ireland. We also went inside St Patrick’s Cathedral, a great building dating from the 12th century and the final resting place of such personages as Jonathan Swift, author of Gulliver’s Travels.
One of the major tourist attractions that I finally visited was the Guinness Storehouse. It was a lot of fun, it’s a whole experience that they’ve put together that follows the entire process from ingredients to bottling and shipping and consuming. There was, in fact, a Tasting Room which is entered through a hallway designed to enhance your senses. You stop in a little chamber that’s totally white, smell all the different flavors you’re supposed to be able to taste, and then proceed into a room modeled on Guinness’ study and also designed to make the most of the experience. Then you take your little sample glass and are directed by a tasting expert on the best way to drink. It was a whole thing. And I still found it revolting. So when I tell you that I don’t like beer and you want to say, “Well, have you had good beer?” I assure you that I’ve been in the most favorable conditions for its appreciation and found it lacking. So don’t push me 😉
Not much else going on. I’m really starting to think about my dissertation, which is obviously dreadful, and the weather is getting colder. Though, it’s true today and yesterday were quite pleasant. A bit chilly and windy, but sunny and generally nice. Classes continue to be interesting and informative and involve a ton of reading. The bread I get from the bakery down the road every week continues to be delicious. My journey through various Irish candy bars continues to be fruitful.
Regressing just a bit, in St Patrick’s there’s an area set up to experience different things about cathedrals from a sensory perspective, mostly intended for children, I think. Anyway, there was a station to do your own brass rubbing and, low and behold, free art. I now have something on the otherwise blank walls of my bedroom. Quite good if I do say so myself. Which I do.
So there’s that. Ah, a challenge for this week. Do something to enliven your living or working places. Get some flowers and display them prominently. Or get an air fern, because there’s really no excuse. Or make some art and put it up somewhere, even if only temporarily and even if it’s awful. It’s special because you made it. So go forth and art!