A short trip to Ireland that felt more familiar than foreign to an American observer. A quirky California yard sale prior to the narrator's unlikely move to Bulgaria. These are two stories in a larger collection of humorous travel stories called "Americano Abroad," now available on Amazon.com. More
IRELAND, FOR FOCKSAKES
‘Just pretend they’re all Leprechauns and I bet it’ll start to get much better.’
That’s what John and I temporarily agreed on after our first few cold, terse encounters with Dubliners, as the light rain poured down on our hoods, just enough to keep our jackets and the sidewalks perpetually wet. We were walking in the center of Dublin and I was just beginning to feel like I was in Ireland. The airport hotel where we stayed the first night could’ve been outside of any rainy city in the U.S.— Indianapolis came to mind. The bar in that hotel looked about as Irish as a TGI Friday’s. So it felt good to finally be on the streets of Dublin, no matter how cloudy and wet it was. When John, my great friend for over 30 years (which sounds mathematically impossible to me), suggested taking a quick trip to Ireland, it seemed like a good idea. I had never been there before. It was a short, cheap flight from Italy. And it sounded more interesting than, say, Greenland. John has a strong Irish heritage, which gave him some extra motivation. I have a little Irish ancestry as well, but neither of us was on a search for long lost relatives or the family crest. Nor were we looking for pots of gold or to retrieve the stolen Lucky Charms—though I confess that some ignorant strain of American media-filled memory brought this to mind as soon as I hit Irish soil. For some reason, I couldn’t stop this reaction—an internal flood of old commercial references (Irish Spring!) and a strong urge to utter crappy imitations of an Eye-rrrish accent. Once in Dublin, the most basic travel questions emerged: What should we do in Ireland? What is there to see? Where should we go? A week before we were set to fly out, I realized that I had no idea what to do there. Neither did John, so I searched online for “Top 10 things to do in Ireland.” I found mostly cluttered, ad-infested websites, or various top ten lists that often contradicted each other. In Dublin, among other things, I gathered that we should walk around the area between St. Patrick’s Cathedral and Trinity College, and maybe get a tour of the Guinness brewery and the Jameson distillery. How did that advice translate to me? -Walk around, drink a lot, and take pictures. And that’s what we did....
Dominic Carrillo is a teacher and writer from San Diego, California. He attended UCLA. His debut novel is "To Be Frank Diego." He has a book and a blog called "Americano Abroad." He enjoys eating good food, travel, reading, and writing.