Swearing in Spanish and White People

Another double-hitter. This first one is from 2009. Ya es tarde, si... but better late than never. Sadly, I don't speak Spanish. I speak Mexican... but I pick up Castellano very quickly. Wild Junket's "Top 10 Spanish swear words" may just be the most important phrases you'll use while in Spain... or, at the very least, the most fun. Practice these when you're around English speakers. If they ask what you're saying, tell them you're practicing "what a fine day it is today" in Maori. Just joking... maybe... no, seriously, don't do that. Don't be like me. The Wild Junket is also where the fav phrase of the day comes from.

Next up, Stuff White People Like. Now, don't even bother continuing unless you have a well-developed sense of humor. For instance, this first article open with: "If you find yourself trapped in the middle of the woods without electricity, running water, or a car you would likely describe that situation as a 'nightmare' or 'a worse case scenario like after plane crash or something.' White people refer to it as 'camping.'" That one's from "#128 Camping". I also suggest "#120 Taking a Year Off". Again, anyone with a serious streak should stay far away from clicking either one of those links.

Fav phrase of the day: (Spanish) "Vivadores"; "People who live life to the fullest."

This Impertinence

Myself, when young, did eagerly frequent
Doctor and Saint, where heard I argument
  about and about IT, but evermore
Came out by that same door as in I went.

With them the Seed of Wisdom did I sow,
Then, with my own hands, labour'd It to grow.
  Yet this was all the harvest that I reap'd:
"I came like Water... and like Wind I go.

"Into this Universe, the 'why' not know'n,
Nor 'whence', like water willy-nilly flow'n,
  then out of It, as wind along the Waste,
I know not 'whither', willy-nilly blow'n."

What? without asking, hither hurried whence?
Then! without asking, whither hurried hence?
  Another and another cup to drown
The memory of this impertinence!

~Edward Fitzgerald's "Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam"

Where the Guinness Comes From

Horse n Buggy
"Lefty" at the Guinness Warehouse

Oh no, Dublin, we're not done with you just yet. It's time wrap up the final third part of this series... 'n what better way to do it than backwards? Maestro! Cue the music!

Song of the Day: [Free from Music Ninja]
Bedouin Soundclash - Brutal Hearts (Ft Coeur de Pirate)
"Brutal Hearts (Ft Coeur de Pirate)" by Bedouin Soundclash
Alan de la Grainger's Pub
Alan de la Graingers
Grainger's Pub: See that softy on the left? That's Alan. Don't believe the smile. Alan will fuck you AND your whole crew up. No, seriously, we love this guy... 'n it's the one time we got him to smile during our stay in Ireland. More on how we got him to smile here in a second. First, we've gotta tell you a bit about the real Alan.

I heard it from a peep who knew a peep that these two American girls wandered their way into Graingers while RyGuy 'n Gaea were soaking up some brews there. When Alan came over to the two girls, they both ordered (and in their own words) "Irish Car Bombs". Without hesitation, Alan firmly said, "No" ...then walked away.

That's right, he straight told 'em "no" and moved on... and with good reason. Let's say that they served a drink called a "9/11" in Iraq, then two Arabs walked into a New York City bar and tried to order one, how do you think that this situation would turn out? In my opinion, Alan was being polite. Later, after the two had left, Alan would be sure to add that the alcohol curdles the cream... 'n that he wouldn't serve it anyway.

And how did we get this Irishman to smile? Music. When I mentioned that I made music and had worked for Apple, the grizzled Alan melted into smiles and stories. As you can see, I even got him to pose with his iPod (please don't kill me Alan). Not only was he a surplus of information on the land and history of Dublin, but his calm strong demeanor kept us coming back day after day. Needless to say, we'll be back again.

The Best Pub in Ireland: Tourists 'n travelers alike who've made their way to Ireland are gonna tell ya that they know "The Best Pub in Ireland". It's a statement on the country's pub culture in general that almost every pub really is the best pub. The next time you hear this, however, you tell that peep that they're a damned liar... that is, unless they said it was Graingers. Otherwise, you'll need to set 'em straight.
Graingers, 51 Talbot Street, Dublin 1, Ireland
(01)8363249 ~ [Graingers on Yelp]
God Loves Guinness: I didn't even develop a taste for beer until 2005, when I was introduced to stouts and ales. Guinness was one of the first beers that I liked. One of our trips around Dublin was spent wandering the grounds of the Guinness factory and warehouse. Afterall, Dublin's where the Guinness comes from. The photo above was taken just outside the warehouse, where "Lefty" and his buggy were waiting for passengers. The place is huge... like... castle-sized! If we could've afforded a ride with Lefty, we'd've taken it... but we couldn't.

But what we could do was drink plenty of Guinness while in Dublin. Because local manufacturers make it in the larger countries (like the States), the taste really is different. In Dublin, the taste is superfluously superb. The best. While RyGuy would mix it up with a Beamish here 'n there, I didn't even bother straying from the original G. The only thing I would change about our next trip to Ireland would be to visit in the summer, as damn does it ever get cold in the winter! Dublin, we love you. Cheers!

Related Posts:
• Part 1 - The Dark Alleys of Dublin
• Part 2 - The Top Squat in Dublin

Graingers Pub [Mod]

Not a Vacation, Not a Holiday

A rather incredible double-hitter. The first hit was when my friend Jill forwarded me a post on "The Travels of Ibn Battutah", where it makes sure to point out that his travels were NOT a holiday. Then came the second hit, when I read the post "Not a Vacation" on Over Yonderlust. There is a very critical point here--the hinge where travel and tourism differ. Travel immerses and takes on a lifestyle. Tourism takes a "vacation" from a lifestyle, then quickly defaults back to that lifestyle once the vacation has ended.

I'm not here to say that one is better than the other. I will say this: there are more tourists than travelers, and, because we travelers are the minority, we are constantly placed under the assumptions that we are tourists and that we are on vacation. This is not a vacation. This is our life... and the world is our home.

I highly suggest reading both articles, including the comments on Over Yonderlust.

Favorite phrase lately: (from the French) "Merci pour ce moment."; "Thank you for this moment." (with thanks to Olivia for the phrase)

No Baggage and Burning

Quick double-hitter. El number uno: "Best of the No Baggage Challenge". I've been trying to think of ways to apply lightweight travel to hitchhiking... but a lot of it just doesn't apply. You're basically trading money for weight. If you can travel comfortable in your wallet, you can travel lightly in baggage. That's one crude fucking reduction of the actual challenge... so don't take it to heart. The Good Mister Potts is one of the iconic travelers of the time, and his experiments in travel are priceless. Here's my own fav from the "Best of" vids:

El numero dos: "The Thing About Burning Man". Gaea, over on System Andromeda, has written up a small but insightful entry on how Burning Man "breaks" a person open. The only thing I would add is that Burning Man will find that thing inside of you that you resist... and it will bend or break it. That's the magic of it.

And the fav phrase lately? From the French: "Coeur de Pirate"; "Pirate Heart"

Leave a Trail

Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

The Top Squat in Dublin

International Alley

The three-part entry on Dublin continues. Turning away from the dark alleys, let's center in on our favorite base of operations--Paddy's Palace. But, to talk about Paddy's, it's important to mention the Lazy Piece of Sith who turned us onto the place--RyGuy. This is the peep who'd mapped out 'n planned a large part of our Dublin adventures. One o' the things that we'll be referring to as "his fault" is Paddy's Palace. Wouldn't have it any other way. Let's kick this off with a little music.

Song of the Day: [Free from XLR8R]
Telefon Tel Aviv - Lengthening Shadows
"Lengthening Shadows" by Telefon Tel Aviv
It's the Cost That Counts: No, seriously, at some point the pro-vs-con scale tips towards absurdity with the amount of amenities you get for your dollar value at some places. Paddy's is one o' those places. No curfew and a 24-hour check-in are big tipping points. Free noms when you wake up in the morning? Ooh, yeah! Livin' large! Mix in some crazy awesome employees, a bit o' stereotypical decor and some passable dorms, and you have a taste of Paddy's Palace. Did I mention that it'll run ya less than ten Euro if you plan ahead? Consider it mentioned. It's quite literally a steal. In fact, the one thing we're hoping for on a return trip is free WiFi.

Staying at Paddy's put us within a three-mile walk of every place we wanted to check out while in Dublin. If we happened to come across something outside of that distance, then the bus station was just a block or two away. What little time we actually spent in the hostel was divided between sleeping and hanging out with other travelers... "other travelers", in this context, easily includes the employees. Almost all hostels are run by travelers. The single day that I actually spent indoors was spent online. I worked a trade with the employees to clean the computer and install security software to earn the time that I spent hogging the computer.
Paddy's Palace, 5 Beresford pl Gardiner Street, Dublin 1
(01)8881750 ~ www.paddyspalace.com/dublinhostel.php
With Flesh and Ink: Of the three in our party, I was the only one without any Irish blood. That doesn't mean that RyGuy 'n Gaea are Irish. Even if you've got the blood, don't be "that guy" who's tellin' everyone that he's Irish. He's not. You're Irish if you're born to the land and that's it. No exceptions. Despite the handicap of our birthplace and lineage, all three of us had a heavy interest in seeing The Book of Kells at Trinity College in Dublin. We made it just in time.

Excuse me while I wax poetical, as The Book of Kells truly does defy the petty descriptives known as "words". Trinity College is where you'll find restored copies of the the book, a work inked and etched into dried flesh. It is more tome than book. The calligraphy stands out in three-dimensions from the pages, as it was applied in layers of inks, metals and minerals. Many of the folios are laid out flat behind glass so that you can clearly see them. The Celtic knot-working, mythological creatures, calligraphy and ornate Latin all stand out from the pages, sometimes vivid and bright... othertimes faded with the ages. While a bit heretical, the closest comparison I have is a computer's circuit board... a beauty in its own right.

International Alley: I've got no idea what the actual name of the street is in the photo above. I could look it up... but I'm not gonna. The flags from all around the world earned it the nickname "International Alley", 'n that's the name we're going with. Besides, the name's not important. What's important is that the street is the quickest way to get from Paddy's Palace to Grainger's Pub; from Point A (the point of sobriety) to Point B (the point of intoxication). And Grainger's is right where we'll be picking up on for the final post in this series.

It's the intoxication that counts. That is all.

Related Posts:
• Part 1 - The Dark Alleys of Dublin
• Part 3 - Where the Guinness Comes From

Notes on the Song of the Day: I won't usually write about the song of the day, but this one's an exception... this one hits close to home. Telefon Tel Aviv was once a two-man project. In January of '09, that ended with the death of Charlie Cooper. While it hit the electronic music community pretty hard, none of us will ever be able to truly sympathize with the loss experienced by Joshua Eustis--Telefon's surviving member. This one song, "Lengthening Shadows", is the only song that Joshua has produced since the death of Charles. It was produced at the request of friend and fellow musician Apparat. The silence that followed Charlie's death has been filled with this single song, a song filled with the heaviness, longing and "spirit" that conveys everything that cannot be said... because it must be "felt" to be understood. It can be purchased or gifted from [Here on iTunes].

Notes on the Leading Photo: You can find the original version of my photo for this post [Here on GoogleMaps]. It was also used in the album art for "The Smell of a Storm" EP (which was dedicated to Paddy's Palace). The album is up for free download [Here on BandCamp].

Every Second

How long the road is. But for all the time the journey has already taken, how you have needed every second of it in order to learn what the road passes by.
~ Dag Hammarskjold

The Dark Alleys of Dublin

Irish Graffiti in Dublin

This is the first of three posts on Dublin, Ireland. For those who don't know, Dublin's where the Guinness comes from. In fact, the first photo of me in the About Me section is a shot of me drinking Guinness at a pub called "Graingers". Graingers and Guinness will be the third post in the series, with the Paddy's Palace hostel holding down the middle ground. Onward!

Song of the Day: Jamie Woon - Wayfaring Stranger (Burial Remix) [iTunes]
"Wayfaring Stranger (Burial Remix)" by Jamie Woon
Closing Time: Even more so than Austin--dare I say, "even more so than NYC"?--Dublin truly is a 24-hour city. I spent many nights wandering the quays, hanging out at internet cafes and meandering from pub-to-pub. The night never ends in Dublin... at least not until the sun decides to break up the party. It's a fairly drunken party... and it's alotta fun.

A Scuffle in the Paddywagon: On one such night out, I was innocently enjoying a cancer stick outside of an internet cafe when a police van pulled up 'n parked next to me. Bracing myself, I was pleasantly surprised when the officers who jumped out didn't even bother looking at me. Instead, they took off running down the alley just past the cafe. I made a quick mental list of any crimes I might've committed while in Dublin, then decided that it was worth it to enjoy the last of the smoke before calmly leaving the area.

The street--still busy with crowds at one in the morning--grew even busier as peeps emptied outta the alley... and as two police cars parked in front of the van. When the police returned from the alley, they were forcefully escorting a very stocky Irishman who's gaze and swaying stride spoke of many a fine hour drinking. He seemed more confused than annoyed... at least, until they got him in the van.

I couldn't see the inside of the paddywagon from where I was standing, but there was no missing the fact it had jolted and begun swaying from side-to-side. The officers in the cars jumped out and ran to the van. That's when the wagon really started jumping around... and, a second later, an officer flew backwards out of the van.

Now, I consider myself a good fighter, but I'd seen the guy they were tryin' to arrest. The guy was big... 'n we're not talking fat. Also, drunks have the advantage of an increased pain threshold. There was no way I was taking this guy if he got out and found me in his way. I decided to move into the doorway of the internet cafe... bound 'n determined to see how this played out.

As another officer flew out of the back of the van, the brawler emerged with a leap. He barely stumbled before taking off down the street. The crowds parted to make a path for him, as they'd obviously either seen the guy fighting already or had made the same measure as I had. The police split into groups, two of 'em checking on the two that were downed while the other two took off running after the brawler.

An hour later, the officers returned to the van empty-handed.

Arms Dealing: On another night, a Scotsman in a pea-coat bummed a smoke off o' me. When he heard my accent, he asked, "You're an American? Have you any arms connections? Guns?" A bit surprised, I decided to play into the stereotype that all American have guns, saying, "Not immediately. What kinda quantity are we talkin' here?" Turning suspicious, he said, "Fairly large shipment, but small arms. Concealables." Yes, I'd definitely taken it to far... 'n decided to end it, shaking my head and saying, "Hmmm.. . I'm gonna be a dead end on this one... but keep looking." He thanked me for the smoke and bowed out.

Graffiti: Irish graffiti, such as that in the opening photo, bears a lot of similarities to the wildstyle paintings of the American South-West. However, it plays off the color palette that Ireland is known for: vibrant emerald greens, burning oranges, stark whites and flares of red for highlights. On one of my next trips to Ireland, I'll be spending a few days capturing some of the best graffiti that I can find.

Interesting Connections: In a strange way, Dublin easily reminds me of a mix between Austin, Texas and Villahermosa, Mexico; but with the cold weather that comes with the United Kingdom; and with a culture that is entirely unique to Ireland. I can see why it's been referred to as the sister-city of Austin.

Related Posts:
• Part 2 - The Top Squat in Dublin
• Part 3 - Where the Guinness Comes From

Fear Makes Strangers

The more I traveled the more I realized that fear makes strangers of people who should be friends.
~ Shirley MacLaine