The past five days have seemed like an age. My weekend basically started on Thursday night when my friends and I went out to The Elk to celebrate (mourn?) Tinja's leaving by consuming our collective body weight in £3 mojitos.
After struggling through both a healthy dose of post-tequila self hated and a veritable mountain of ironing on Friday I went out again, this time with a different Finnish. Happily Iina is back in London, on a permanent basis. I had thought the return of one Finnish friend would balance out the departure of the other, but on Saturday as I was walking home from my (new) second job, with 2 hours sleep under my belt and plans to spend my Saturday night consuming gin-jelly with Isabel I thought casually "we should ask Tinja to come".
I think Tinja leaving is the saddest thing to have happened to me since I've been here. I hardly knew Elena when she left, and Iina was always going to come back, but I don't actually know when (or if) I'll see Tinja again.
On Sunday I was back at work and by 5pm I was more than happy to just pack my bags and go to sleep, in anticipation of my whirlwind 12 day tour of the UK.
Which brings me to Ireland. Because this morning I got on a train, and now I'm in another country. Just saying that sentence is enough to reassure myself that nothing - not a career, not being with my friends and family, nothing - would be worth missing this. I booked a hostel ahead of time, because it seemed like the sensible and efficient thing to do. However my talents apparently do not encompass efficiency or sensibility, because I got off the ferry in Dublin with no Euros, no address, and no real idea of what I was doing.
Eventually I got into a taxi with a driver who agreed to let me pay him in pounds and told him my predicament. He told me he'd never heard of the hostel I needed, and his speedy recon mission amongst his fellow drivers proved equally fruitless. Instead he drove me to a hostel he did know of, where I dumped my stuff for the evening and went of in search for my planned hostel. And also food.
The latter was easy, and I had a lovely picnic on the banks of the river that runs through the city. The former, however, alluded me. I looked up the place on the website, marked it on the free map I'd picked up at the taxi driver's hostel, and set off. But after an hour of trekking through Dublin I was still no closer to finding my destination. In fact I was beginning to think the place didn't exist at all (a fear by no means alleviated by the constant engaged tone on their phone).
While I ate dinner, though, I figured maybe this was a fortuitous turn of events. After all, being dropped off by a friendly taxi driver into the waiting arms of an unbooked hostel room (and incredibly attractive receptionist) seemed like too perfect a situation to walk away from, So I threw caution to the wind and cancelled my initial booking, choosing instead to stay where I had been led (by FATE).
I feel this is the best possible beginning to my trip.