You are browsing the archive for 2010 April.

Someone’s Knocking at the Door… in Dublin

April 30, 2010 in dublin, spazarific

They tell you that Dublin is a dangerous city; rough and full of crime, like New York City used to be before Giuliani turned it into the Disneyland of your twenties. Listen, people say. You’re not to go wandering about the seedier parts of town, where the knackers in their track suits are running about. Some of your female classmates have told you about being mugged in broad daylight with a syringe full of blood, or being followed home down a dark lane. You’ve listened to all of the warnings and you behave sensibly, but the truth is that you took the warnings with a grain of salt because you never felt the supposedly sinister edge of Dublin. Somehow, even though you’d been flashed twice and saw homeless people lining the streets, it just always seemed too full of magpies and swans and greens and beautiful Georgian doors to be scary.

Now that you live alone, things are different.

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The Party Train to Galway

April 23, 2010 in dublin, Ex-Patriate Games

Two champagne corks pop and, behind me, several men discuss doing Jägermeister shots. They want to do them right here and right now, on the train. I’ve apparently boarded the Party Car to Galway, but I don’t mind. It’s a good day; good to be among other happy people for the next couple of hours.

There’s a woman sitting across from me. Her name is Moire; I know this because she reserved her seat and her name is printed above her head, like mine. Moire’s got her coat pulled up to her chin and she’s attempting to take a nap, but every few seconds her eyes flutter open and she regards me in bewilderment. Perhaps the PhotoBooth feature of a MacBook isn’t, in fact, meant to take snapshots from a train window but, by golly, I’m doing it.

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Back in the Saddle

April 21, 2010 in dublin, Oishii, WanderFood

At this time last week, I never wanted to eat again as long as I lived. Seriously. Me; a gal who has seriously considered hooking myself up to a cupcake IV, to whom life is nothing, nothing, nothing if I don’t have food. Well, after one relapse and five days on the rice-and-potatoes diet, mama is back in the saddle.

Fearless.

No holds barred. One plate of evil mussels can’t bring this girl down.

So it’s dinner at Aya; i.e., Irish-style kaiten sushi. Triple the price of kaiten sushi in Japan; half the quality; double the cuteness. Service buttons screech Attention! Attention! instead of setting off silent alarms. No calls of いらっしゃいませ。Five plates of salmon down the hatch. And so far, mama’s doing fine.

Yep. Back in the saddle. Bring on the boxty and the spicy ramen.

This post has been brought to you by WanderFood Wednesday.

Dear Readers

April 21, 2010 in Uncategorized

I’ve recently been alerted by my friend, Danny Goodman of fwriction, that Creative Nonfiction magazine is seeking narrative blog posts to reprint in their Summer Reading issue. Blog posts must be able to stand alone, clock in at under 2000 words, and have been published between November 1 2009 and March 31 2010. “Narrative, narrative, narrative,” says CNF.

I Eat My Pigeon wants to submit, though it strikes me that I’ve written little in the way of narrative in the past six months. My favorite narrative posts probably came from my life in Osaka – i.e., The Mystery of the Ubiquitous and Radiant Train Station Ad Model or Hostess Cupcake. The Irish post I would have loved to nominate – “Please Sir, May I Have Some More?” – was published on October 10 2009, rendering it sadly ineligible. Thus, I turn to you. Dear readers.

Nominations close on Monday, April 26. Halp. All votes are appreciated.

City Centre Still Life

April 20, 2010 in dublin, Ex-Patriate Games

Living in a Ghost Town?

April 19, 2010 in dublin, Ex-Patriate Games

There is an end-of-term assignment I have to do, and I don’t want to do it. Nothing against the assignment: it’s a fine assignment from a fine lecturer; we’ve had heaps and heaps of time to do it; gathering the research has been enjoyable; it’s a topic near to my heart… and yet? I still don’t want to do it. I’m not alone; this paper has been a bear for most of my other classmates as well. Perhaps we resist it because it’s by far the most academic thing we’ve had to do all year. For my part, I’m spoiled by workshops and all I want to do is spend my days writing short stories about supper clubs, unrequited infatuations, and blackouts. Alas.

The deadline approaches, and bribing myself is quite effective. Today’s conditions: two pages of my paper for a crepe and back-to-back episodes of Nip/Tuck. It would be a double celebration, as I’ve existed on a rice-and-potato diet ever since being felled by that plate of evil mussels last week. Well, I didn’t write two pages – I wrote three pages! – so I began my victory march down Dame, making a turn at Great George’s Street past coffee shops and snaking side streets. Great George’s Street became Aungier, and then I came to a screeching halt as I stood across the street from Fafie’s Creperie; it was closed, the grates drawn and cold. It was only then that I noticed that nearly every business and restaurant around me was also shuttered. The Oxfams, the gourmet groceries, the chemists, and even a good number of pubs. My stomach growled but I continued on through Aungier; Aungier became Camden and all down the street, the blank faces of shuttered businesses continued to taunt me.

But it was only 8pm on a Monday night. Had a religious holiday snuck past my radar? Was there a rugby game on – would Scots storm the streets in kilts again? Had Dublin become Bumblefork, Florida?

I don’t know. But I’m hungry and wish I had my Victory Crepe.

The Poet

April 16, 2010 in dublin, Ex-Patriate Games

It’s Trinity Ball Night. That means Trinners students get to dust the cinders off their jeans and hop into a pumpkin for a memory-making night of music, drink, and elegant dress fun. Walking through College Green this evening, weaving through the six pack-clutching, tuxedo-clad Trinity Ball attendees, I stopped short when I saw this:

If you have the time, then please read my poem/To hear what it’s like to lose one’s home.

Poet: Are you finished with photo?

Me: Yes. I’m sorry. Here.

Poet: Is okay. And thank you for your help.

I walked on, but when I looked back, the poet was lashing a bottle of water over his work. And within minutes, both the words and the poet were gone.

This post has been brought to you by Delicious Baby Photo Friday.

The Curse of Molly Malone

April 14, 2010 in dublin, Ex-Patriate Games, Oishii, spazarific, WanderFood

Classes finished last week, much to everyone’s chagrin. We’ve been paired with our portfolio advisors and still have 10,000 words to submit for two classes, but all anyone can talk about is What’s Next After the M.Phil? Good question. For most of us, it’s back to work. Some are heading back to school for MFAs. Others (ahem) are plotting the Next Big Thing. But until the answers are clear, it’s a whirlwind of most excellent class activities. Wine mixers at the Oscar Wilde Centre-turned-boozefests at Kennedy’s, where no one leaves sober. Boozy lunches with lecturers at The Porterhouse. Most recently, an extra special Class Night: drinks at Neary’s, a 3-course dinner, more drinks at Neary’s, the Glór open mic session at the International Bar, and then as an extra special treat, a run-by flashing from a pack of boys in track suits. Good night, Dublin.

But first, some snapshots of the delicious dinner we shared.

Mussels, alive, alive-o. Swimming in green curry, chili, and lime. Come to me, my white hot flames.

Trout over shrimp risotto. Spinach topped by a golden sunburst of butter.

Looks beautiful, doesn’t it? It was, and utterly delicious to boot. Too bad that, 36 hours later, I’m in the vicious grip of a violent bout of food poisoning. I’d unfairly blamed my slapdash dinner of carrots and chicken – anything, anything so as not to blame my beloved mussels – but another member of my course has come down with the cursed affliction as well. Suckling a bottle of Gatorade like an infant all day long, and if there was ever an excuse to avoid writing a 5000 word essay, this was it. Molly Malone, you couldn’t have hurt me more if you’d tried.

This post has been brought to you by WanderFood Wednesday.

Signs of Irish Spring

April 9, 2010 in dublin, Ex-Patriate Games

Rain, rain, rain, and now this:

Apple blossoms on campus, daffodils in the park. Can’t stop myself from buying even more greenery from the flower stands on Camden Street; more daffodils and even small potted blooms in yellow, white, and fuchsia to line my windowsill. And carrots. And yams. And then the freshly-mended coat comes off because it’s suddenly roasting outside; the sun beating down on the sidewalk. And then into the artisan food shop across from the fruit, veg, and flower stand to score 100 grams of salami. And a package of spinach and ricotta tortellini. And a small tub of spiced green olives.

The swans are floating on the Grand Canal, the trees are blooming in the Green, and the birds are singing, even after dark. The sunlight is like a hug. It feels like spring, it feels like the coming of something better. At least until the next rain storm.

This post has been brought to you by Deliciousbaby Photo Friday.

Cupcakes: Delicious, Ubiquitous, and Politically Correct

April 7, 2010 in Ex-Patriate Games, WanderFood

At farmers’ markets, cafes, Bewley’s, and bake shops; Ireland’s got the fever. They call them “cupcakes” here nowadays – not “fairy cakes,” like they used to. But, gracious, you wouldn’t catch someone using that dreadful archaic term nowadays; not since the Great Fairy Uprising of 2004. In the spring of that year, centuries of Irish-Fairy tension came to a head when thousands of fairies left their mounds in Clare to protest the humiliating tradition of branding tiny cakes “fairy cakes.” Much fairy dust was spilled, but in the end, the ugly term has been erased from the Hiberno-English lexicon. The American word “cupcake” was eventually adopted, because everybody knows that cups don’t have feelings.

Eat a cupcake. Remember the fairies.

This post has been brought to you by WanderFood Wednesday.