(just joining me? go back to see what happened from the very beginning!)
Today was the exhausting day.
I had an interview this morning at New Island Books at 11 am (6am Michigan time!). I got up at half seven to stick my head in the shower and freeze to death. Did I mention we STILL don’t have hot water? After getting ready and donning my business suit (pics later), I went downstairs to the Spar to buy a muffin and head off. (Spar is kind of like a mix between a mini-grocery store and a 7/11 at home). (I chose blueberry, in case you’re wondering.) I was heading for the bus stop by half eight. You’d think that 2.5 hours would be plenty of time for my two bus trips across Dublin city centre, but you clearly haven’t traveled Europe with me.
As instructed, I board bus 19A and asked if we were going to stop at Parnell Sq (nearby the city centre), to which the answer was yes. I requested the bus driver to alert me when we were there. He said sure, so I reclined and watched as Dublin zipped by me in a waterfall of pretty townhouses and clustered stored. I waited for the bus driver to ring, and sat on the edge of my seat, but I heard nothing. Once my precious city views turned into views of suburbs and rolling hills, I knew something was wrong. I asked the bus driver when Parnell Sq would be coming up, to which he nonchalantly replied “20 minutes ago.” I still had an hour to make it to my interview, so I wasn’t worried when I hopped off the bus and started walking back towards town. I grabbed a bus number I recognized (16) and knew it would take me into city centre again.
No sooner did I get on the bus than did the road ahead of us get blocked by the Garda (police). The Queen from England is in town, and security is everywhere. (This is the first time a British monarch has ever visited Ireland, so it is kind of a big deal). 30 minutes later, after the Queen had passed by, and 30 minutes back into the heart of the city, I got off the bus and walked to my next bus stop, hoping it would come quickly, as I only had 10 minutes to make it to my interview. But of course the Queen wanted to visit the Grand Post Office (GPO), and see all the statues on O’Connell St Upper, which were conveniently on the same street I was on.
I asked the bus HQ people how to get to my destination with the main thoroughfare shut down and my answer was simple: as long as the Queen was on the street, I wasn’t going anyhwere. My bus route had been shut down. Not only that, but my destination wasn’t even in Dublin—it was in a suburb a good 20 minutes away.
Beside myself, I tried to use the pay phone to ring my supervisors office and ash what I should do. The payphone decided it would rather eat my change than provide me with any service. I spent the better part of an hour searching for the EUSA office, and when I finally found it, I literally burst into tears. One of the members came down and consoled me as I wailed about how many times I had tried (and failed) to find my interview, and how much I wanted to go home. She assured me this was very normal, and disappeared to go fix the problem. Several tear filled minutes later (in which the secretary did nothing but watch me sob), she reappeared and told me my boss understood completely, and that my interview had been schedules for half two. She gave me very specific directions for how to get to my placement, reminded me it was okay to feel homesick, and sent me on my way.
That was how I found myself, seven hours after I had set out from my apartment, in front of a shiny red door that said New Island Books. I could’ve literally kissed the footpath. I had my interview with my bosses, we’ll call them M and K, and then went back to Dublin city centre. (I’ll talk my job interview more on Monday).
Of course, my day couldn’t flow very easily from there. As soon as I got back to the city centre, I found the main road closed again as, guess who!, Queen Elizabeth was driving through. I waited on the footpath with the rest of Dublin, and then the Queen came by and WAVED AT ME! (Okay. Waved in my general direction. But I was having a bad day so I don’t think it would hurt to assume she was waving directly at little old me.) She was as adorable in person as she is on the tellie, wearing yellow and looking every bit as charming as I would expect. The British Monarchy doesn’t impact my life in any way, but there was something about the presence (and delicate wave) from Queen Lizzie that made me feel better about my day.
(The Irish, by the way, aren’t interested at all in Will and Kate! I’ve only seen one mag about them. They are, however, entirely smitten with Harry. And let’s be fair—who wouldn’t be?!)