I like the way the English language sounds here. Although, sometimes it is difficult for me to follow. I heard someone refer to it as “encrypted English” which seemed like a great way to describe it. Tonight I was in a little supermarket, getting my Irish souvenir. There were two boys, probably 8 and 10, rolling around on the floor, clearly looking for something they had dropped. I watched them for a while and then finally asked them what they had dropped. The 10 year old looks at me very seriously and says that he dropped a whole 2 euro coin. It took me a moment to understand what he said and in the meantime, the boys were continuing to look because their mum had said they had to be home by 7 and they thought they might be late already but they had to find the coin. This was an easy problem for me to solve. I said to the older boy “Here, I’ve got one, go ahead and take it.” What was so charming was he immediately asked me “Are you certain, Miss? I don’t want you to be troubled” I thanked him for his concern and assured him it was not a problem. And he thanked me very nicely while three times more asking me if I was certain. Who knows what’s ahead of him in life but at this moment, he was clearly a very well mannered young man. I wish I could solve so many problems that swiftly.

Dublin is beautiful. I am not in danger of becoming Catholic but when I see all the churches around here, I can imagine that you might just become Catholic after being inspired by the beauty – sort of recruiting tool. It is also apparent that there’s much more land available to build on here than there is in Amsterdam. Most buildings are only two stories. I have done a lot of walking while I have been here and hope to do more tomorrow. I will say that after the howling wind and rain last night, I completely understand Irish songs like “The Long Black Veil”. Something else I noticed here is that while the streets are all paved with stone, like Amsterdam, the stones are not perfectly matched and shaped. They are rather more freeform. Clearly the Irish are less into the precision regularity of the Dutch and a bit more expressive with their materials. You also see this in the buildings. They might be attached to each other but they are not built in a same style, almost as if each had a different builder.

I would not have picked the Irish as big tomato eaters. I tend to think of Southern Europe as being more tomato oriented. But they are everywhere here, broiled for breakfast, in the soup, not in salads, on all sandwiches almost. They eat a lot of white bread. And they serve a lot of it too. Not a fan. After being spoiled by Dutch bread, it seems kind of tasteless. For my Irish souvenir, I got rice cakes covered in dark chocolate and orange peel. I don’t have a particular desire to eat them, just thought it was such a contradictory idea. The good news is that they are gluten free so go ahead and enjoy that dark chocolate rice cake! The clerk at the store told me that they are very popular.

I am super tired and we start tomorrow morning at 830AM so think I am off to bed.

One last thing, tomorrow is a birthday. It is the birthday of my brothers, Cedric and Dylan. In 1976, my life forever changed. I stopped being an only child *deep deep sigh*. In addition to my brothers, it is also the birthday of Ronald Reagan and Bob Marley if I remember correctly. I find this rather humorous, especially when I consider the personality differences between my brothers. For the home viewers who may not have experienced the twins in the same room, it would be easy to make the case that Cedric has clearly channeled Bob Marley at some points in his life and Dylan definitely has an inner Ronald Reagan. Happy Birthday!

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