My very first trip abroad, unfortunately, appeared in my last year at school. Kind of late – but really great. It opened eyes so wide for all the rest of my life.
Before our graduation exams my and my best friend’s parents decided that we need some fresh air during our intensive studying. And at that time some of my relatives were living in Dublin, the capital of Ireland, so it was just a perfect possibility for our runaway and stepping on the other land: we had where to stay, we had people who knew places, and our parents were feeling calm, because they knew that we were in a good hands. Yes, we were in good hands, but at the same time – very understanding hands, which let us do whatever we wanted, and at the same time – keeping this fact under the nine lockers. This trip was such a long time ago, so something more precise about Dublin itself would be very difficult to say. But still there are some things left in my memory what I would like to point out. I suppose at the beginning I should mention that during this trip I had first flights in my life as well. I was so stressed about this fact that my head really was not working properly. Kind of good proof of that – saving cellphone’s pin code, which at that time I just could not remember, to the same cellphone’s memory. What can be the safer place? Writing down on paper or other thing? I could loose it or something. Yes. Great. Of course. And I finally found out this idea as not so clever only in Prague airport between my flights, when I was trying to turn on my cell phone. Maybe it is not so worth speaking about that so long, but I want to point out, how headless you can become while facing stress. I don’t know why flight appeared so frightening to me at that time, but it was, and probably still is till now. But about that – later. OMG! My first step on the foreign land! Even if I cannot remember what was my first reaction, when I first inhaled Irish air, but I bet that it was just incredible!
But what exactly I remember most of that first trip in my life? Despite all the shopping, we were hanging out in Dublin quite much. And at that time we just fell in love with Temple Bar quarter with a “Bar Temple Bar” in front with a lot of other Irish pubs around, lively nightlife and a lot of people around. I do not know if locals are so in love with that place, but for all the city guests it is definitely something huge.
Then secondly, I remember very good how and the same Temple Bar area we met amazing Italian company, in whose home we finished our evening. And key facts of that – my first really Italian made Italian pasta ever and their totally stoned friend, down on his knees and head held high praying for the high.
Thirdly, it was not only my first trip abroad, but as well – first New Year’s Eve abroad. We were celebrating it in party which host was the owner of the sex shop. So, not surprising that the ball was with all the necessary attributes. Only the fact, that even we were partying in the very city centre, but there was a big lack of fireworks outside, to which I was so used till that in Lithuania.
Fourthly, I do not know why, but I remember very good that moment when we were passing by the Gaiety Theatre and speaking about U2 who just finished shooting there their video for “Sometimes you can’t make it on your own there”.
Fifthly, at that time I was freelance writer for one magazine in Lithuania. So I remember really very good an interview with one lovely student, working in a Cheese shop, who I was interviewing about job opportunities for young people in Ireland. So funny to remember that I had some difficulties to understand her accent, about what of course she had no idea, but at the end my dear voice recorder helped me to find out what she really meant…
Sixthly, I remember very good that after ordering pint of Guinness in pubs almost all the times we were getting that perfect glass of cold dark beer with a thick foamy head on top and a shamrock precisely traced onto the foam. We wanted to check out Guinness museum as well, but I just can’t remember the reason why we finally didn’t do that.
Seventhly, if you are Lithuanian in Ireland – never feel too free while speaking in Lithuanian about things, which are happening around, if you do not want anything to be heard. On a bus from Dublin to the Irish sea there were almost only Lithuanians. This was the moment, when I could really realise the fact what in terms of quantity at that time was emigration from Lithuania to Ireland.
Eightly, in the streets of Dublin we saw PETA protest against Italian clothing giant Benetton. If I am not mixing anything, this campaign was held mainly for the wish to boycott Australian wool products, which were used. As I found online, the reason was “technique, used by farmers, which involves stripping flesh from a lambs’ rear end to protect it from flystrike, as torture”…
Ninthly, I remember very good the Christmas tree in one of central Dublin squares, which was dedicated exactly for homeless people.
Tenthly, I must confess that before going there I could imagine Ireland mainly as a huge area of fresh green grass, a lot of sheep and a few sheepdogs in front. Was it like that? Of course, my previous imagination was totally wrecked down.
So, this is it. My very small, maybe very childish, but anyway – my first big experience, what does that mean to travel.
After I went to Dublin for a few more times but all of them were no longer than one day. So definitely there should be a lot more to discover in this city and country as well. Let’s just check out more of the world, and maybe later I will come back in this country again.