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Meeting Isabel, Galway to Dublin

Ireland, September 2001 —

Jayzis this is a dreadfully boring page. (My brief acquaintance with Isabel was not much more exciting.)

The notable feature to me of this story is that it documents that first desire to go to Kilkenny, where I've lived for years over several periods.

I set the alarm to get up early and catch the bus from Dublin to Kilkenny. I'd never been there, but decided to go. I would find a job if I could, then move there later if so. I had very little money, but it was time to do something—and bus rides in Ireland aren't very expensive; I spent £12 IRL, or about €15, Dublin-Galway return.

But I missed that bus, the only one that morning. Galway, on the other hand, is a destination every hour on the hour. So I went to Galway. I talked to many restaurant managers, met one woman for whom I would like to work, and met Brendan at The Malt House who said he wanted to try me out. I said I would call.

I relaxed a bit in Galway, walked around town. It's a nice town, about 57,000 inhabitants. Funky place, very friendly, slower by far than Dublin.

When I got on the bus to go back to Dublin, I had a joking exchange with the driver, headed back to sit down, and found myself saying hi to a pretty, smiling woman. I sat down back a few seats.

In Athlone, a small town halfway across the country, the bus stops for about ten minutes and gives folks a chance to get off for a bit. There, I overheard the young woman talking in Spanish. I milled about a bit until I saw her standing alone. I asked her "¿Éres español?," and we talked a bit.

In Dublin, I introduced myself. Her name is Isabel; she's from Barcelona. We spoke in Spanish, which made me feel pretty happy. I asked her to have a cup of coffee with me, and she wrote down my telephone number.

She didn't call. I went to where she works and there, she gave me her telephone number. We met last Wednesday. We agreed to meet, and help each other with our respective languages.

— September 2001